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Polylactic Acid
Polylactic Acid Prices | Historical and Current
Polylactic Acid
Polylactic Acid
Polylactic Acid
(C3H4O2)n

About Polylactic Acid. Polylactic Acid (a.k.a. PLA, Polylactide) is a thermoplastic aliphatic polyester. It is different than most thermoplastic in that it is a bioplastic, which means it is derived from a number of renewed biomass like starch and sugar cane via bacterial lactic fermentation. It is semi crystalline or amorphous, rigid, resilient and ultraviolet light resistant material, with similar characteristics to common petrochemical industry plastics such as polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene. Polylactic acid is used in plastic films, bottles and biodegradable medical devices. It figures among the most consumed bioplastics worldwide. Also, it is widely used as a material in 3D printing and bioprinting.

This biodegradable polyester can be synthesized via two major routes. The main production route of high molecular weight PLA is based on an initial polycondensation of lactic acid, followed by a depolymerization at reduced pressure and a ring-opening polymerization step. The other route is based on a direct polymerization of lactic acid by polycondensation. Most companies employ the indirect route, since the production of high molecular weight polymers is difficult via direct polymerization. High molecular weight Polylactic Acid is a colorless, glossy, rigid thermoplastic material with properties similar to polystyrene. Optically pure polymers such as poly(L-lactic acid) and poly(D-lactic acid) exhibit more suitable physical properties for commercial use.

The stereochemical structure of Polylactic Acid can easily be modified by the polymerization of a controlled mixture of L- or D-isomers, in such a way that the properties of PLA can be easily tunned to meet a broad range of applications. In fact, a wide range of products with different properties can be obtained from PLA with different D/L ratios.

Polylactic Acid Handling. PLA rapidly absorbs moisture from the atmosphere and it’s also temperature sensitive (storage temperatures should be controlled to below 50 ºC). In order to preserve PLA properties and characteristics, exposure to ambient (undried) air should be minimized. PLA is usually delivered in moisture-resistant containers, including foil-lined boxes, which can prevent moisture regain during shipping and storage.

Polylactic Acid Production. Two main routes have been developed to convert lactic acid to PLA. In the indirect route lactic acid is first converted to lactide and then polymerized to PLA. The second route is the direct polymerization of lactic acid by polycondensation. Several pathways arouse from the integration with lactid acid production. Raw materials and the respective production processes employed in the manufacturing of Polylactic Acid are listed below.

  • Lactic Acid (melt-phase polymerization process),
  • Sugar Source (for Latic Acid production via fermentation, followed by polymerization)

Polylactic Acid Uses. The uses and applications of Polylactic Acid may vary according to its specification. The main forms of Polylactic Acid are film grade (for food packing); and high-performance grades (PS, PP and ABS replacement).

Such blends may result from the adition of additives such as nucleating agents or stabilizers, or even blending formulations between PDLA and PLLA.

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Data Type: chem-pricing
Prices

Polylactic Acid Prices | Historical and Current

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Monitor monthly Polylactic Acid price assessments covering 3 locations: United States, Europe and China. Also check Polylactic Acid price history since 2007.

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Data Legend. The chart above shows Polylactic Acid price assessments in USA Dollar per metric ton (USD/mt) in 3 locations, as follows:

  • Polylactic Acid, US (United States): Polylactic Acid, export transaction price, fob, United States
  • Polylactic Acid, EUR (Europe): Polylactic Acid, import transaction price, cfr, Netherlands (netforward from fob United States)
  • Polylactic Acid, CN (China): Polylactic Acid, import transaction price, cif, China

Data Use. Polylactic Acid prices are provided as an annual subscription where subscribers have access to reliable pricing data of 224 commodities worldwide. Intratec's methodology employs a structured big data strategy that utilizes advanced technologies to extract publicly available data from primary sources such as governmental trade records, statistics bureaus, and international agencies. This data is then processed through mathematical models to generate reliable assessments, published at the very beginning of each month. To better understand data provided by Intratec Primary Commodity Prices, check the following documents: Price Assessment Basis , Commodities Specifications , Methodology , User Guide , and Glossary .

Data Delivery Methods. Polylactic Acid price assessments are available via different delivery methods: (i) online charts; (ii) directly into Excel (using Intratec Add-in); or (iii) a web API (to facilitate integration with existing workflows).

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Polylactic Acid Price Outlook. The price of Polylactic Acid (United States) decreased during April 2019 to 1,850 USD per metric ton, which represents a decline of 5% compared to the previous month’s value. On a year-over-year basis, the prices of Polylactic Acid (United States) decreased significantly by 8%. Meanwhile, the average price of Polylactic Acid (China) amounted to 2,360 USD per metric ton, from 2,920 USD per metric ton one year earlier. On a month-over-month basis, the price of Polylactic Acid (China) is 5% higher than the price one month before.

The price of Polylactic Acid (Europe) declined slightly throughout April 2019, reaching 1,860 USD per metric ton.  The price is 2% lower than the average price in the previous month and 2% higher than the average price one year before.

About Polylactic Acid. Polylactic Acid (a.k.a. PLA, Polylactide) is a thermoplastic aliphatic polyester. It is different than most thermoplastic in that it is a bioplastic, which means it is derived from a number of renewed biomass like starch and sugar cane via bacterial lactic fermentation. It is semi crystalline or amorphous, rigid, resilient and ultraviolet light resistant material, with similar characteristics to common petrochemical industry plastics such as polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene. Polylactic acid is used in plastic films, bottles and biodegradable medical devices. It figures among the most consumed bioplastics worldwide. Also, it is widely used as a material in 3D printing and bioprinting.

This biodegradable polyester can be synthesized via two major routes. The main production route of high molecular weight PLA is based on an initial polycondensation of lactic acid, followed by a depolymerization at reduced pressure and a ring-opening polymerization step. The other route is based on a direct polymerization of lactic acid by polycondensation. Most companies employ the indirect route, since the production of high molecular weight polymers is difficult via direct polymerization. High molecular weight Polylactic Acid is a colorless, glossy, rigid thermoplastic material with properties similar to polystyrene. Optically pure polymers such as poly(L-lactic acid) and poly(D-lactic acid) exhibit more suitable physical properties for commercial use.

The stereochemical structure of Polylactic Acid can easily be modified by the polymerization of a controlled mixture of L- or D-isomers, in such a way that the properties of PLA can be easily tunned to meet a broad range of applications. In fact, a wide range of products with different properties can be obtained from PLA with different D/L ratios.

Polylactic Acid Handling. PLA rapidly absorbs moisture from the atmosphere and it’s also temperature sensitive (storage temperatures should be controlled to below 50 ºC). In order to preserve PLA properties and characteristics, exposure to ambient (undried) air should be minimized. PLA is usually delivered in moisture-resistant containers, including foil-lined boxes, which can prevent moisture regain during shipping and storage.

Polylactic Acid Production. Two main routes have been developed to convert lactic acid to PLA. In the indirect route lactic acid is first converted to lactide and then polymerized to PLA. The second route is the direct polymerization of lactic acid by polycondensation. Several pathways arouse from the integration with lactid acid production. Raw materials and the respective production processes employed in the manufacturing of Polylactic Acid are listed below.

  • Lactic Acid (melt-phase polymerization process),
  • Sugar Source (for Latic Acid production via fermentation, followed by polymerization)

Polylactic Acid Uses. The uses and applications of Polylactic Acid may vary according to its specification. The main forms of Polylactic Acid are film grade (for food packing); and high-performance grades (PS, PP and ABS replacement).

Such blends may result from the adition of additives such as nucleating agents or stabilizers, or even blending formulations between PDLA and PLLA.

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