Lactic acid (2-hydroxy propanoic acid) is a colorless or some time yellowish, odorless and hygroscopic, sugary and thick chemical liquid. It is generally soluble with other liquids such as water and ethanol. It is found in abundance in nature. It is the most important acid ingredient of acerbic milk and a typical component of animals’ blood and muscle tissue.
Lactic acid are widely used in refined dairy products, preservative, flavoring, leather processing, textile dyeing, production of biodegradable polymers such as poly lactic acid (PLA), in plastics manufacturing, solvents, inks, and as a source of calcium lactate in pharmaceuticals industry.
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Lactic acid is also a major source for production of some of the other chemicals such as lactate esters, propylene oxide, propylene glycol, acrylic acid, propanoic acidacetaldehyde, 2,3-pentanedione, and dilactide.
On the basis of end user application global lactic acid market is broadly categorized in five broad categories namely, biodegradable polymers, food and beverages, pharmaceuticals, personal care product and other applications.
Poly lactic acid (PLA) is a biodegradable chemicals derived from high quality lactic acid (pure or refined lactic acid). It is one of the major sources of bio-resins use in bioplastics. The various application market of poly lactic acid (PLA) based plastic include, food and beverages packaging, consumer goods packaging, automobiles, agriculture, electronics, and textiles.
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Biodegradable polymers market is one of the fasted growing markets of lactic acid which interns helping the growth of poly lactic acid (PLA) market. The demand for biodegradable polymers is mainly driven by the increasing demand of green, sustainable and biodegradable packaging materials from the food and beverages industry.
Rising petroleum prices, limiting petroleum resources and increasing land fill coupled with global concern over green house emission has resulted into some favorable policies and initiatives for bioplastics by the policy makers around the globe, which interns helping the overall market of poly lactic acid (PLA).
North America is the largest market for global lactic acid & poly lactic acid market owing to high concentration of allied industries of lactic acid in this region. It is then followed closely by Europe and Asia Pacific. The growth rate is highest in Asia Pacific region and it is expected that growth rate will remain in double digit throughout the forecasted period (2014-2020). Such high growth rate is attributed to the growing allied industries such as pharmaceuticals, food and beverages, dairy and agriculture in Asia Pacific.
The growth in Europe is mainly driven by the stringent environmental regulations imposed on the use of synthetic plastic materials for packaging.
Some of the major companies operating in global lactic acid and poly lactic acid (PLA) market include,
- BASF SE
- Danimer Scientific LLC.
- Henan Jindan Lactic Acid Technology Co.
- Synbra Technology B.V.
- The Dow Chemical Company
- Corbion Purac
- Galactic S.A.
- Natureworks LLC.
- Teijin Ltd.