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Business

NatureWorks advances methane-to-lactic acid

by Michael McCoy
March 14, 2016 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 94, ISSUE 11

The polylactic acid producer NatureWorks has opened a $1 million lab at its Minnetonka, Minn., headquarters devoted to commercializing the fermentation of methane into lactic acid, the firm’s main raw material. NatureWorks currently gets lactic acid via sugar fermentation but says the new process, based on a collaboration with Calysta, could diversify its feedstock base and save money. It wants to build a $50 million demonstration plant within the next six years.

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