April 18, 2014 4:37 AM ET


Company Overview of NatureWorks, LLC

Company Overview

NatureWorks, LLC manufactures and supplies biopolymers. Its products are made from plants. The company’s products are used in manufacturing apparel, plastic bottles and cards, mobile phone cases, appliances, cosmetics, laptops, other durable goods, plastic film wraps, folded cartons, fresh food packaging products, home textiles, nonwovens, service ware, lactides, polymers, polymer additives, adhesives, coatings, printing toners, and surfactants. It serves converters, brand owners, and retailers through representatives in North America, Europe, Japan, and the Asia Pacific. NatureWorks, LLC was formerly known as Cargill Dow LLC and changed its name to NatureWorks, LLC in February 2005. As a re...

15305 Minnetonka Boulevard

Minnetonka, MN 55345

United States

Founded in 1997





Key Executives for NatureWorks, LLC

Chief Executive Officer and President
Age: 53
Public Affairs and Communications Director
Business Development Manager of Bottles
Marketing and Public Affairs Director
Compensation as of Fiscal Year 2013.

NatureWorks, LLC Key Developments

NatureWorks Introduces its Next Generation Polymer Grade Lactide

NatureWorks, LLC announced world scale availability of its new Ingeo(TM) M700, a high-purity, polymer-grade lactide rich in meso-lactide. Ingeo M700 has been designed to package and deliver performance and functionality all in one unique molecule. This is different than previous industry approaches, which have attempted to deliver the functionality requested by the market with mixtures of two different materials, L-lactide and D-lactide. Ingeo M700 lactide can be used as an intermediate for copolymers, amorphous resins, grafted substrates, resin additives and modifiers, adhesives, coatings, elastomers, printing toners, surfactants, thermosets and solvents. Ingeo M700's melting point is below 60degC, compared to racemic lactide's melting point of nearly 130degC, and L- and D-lactide's around 97degC. Providing a product with a lower melting point allows NatureWorks to supply processors with a more effective chemical intermediate on a number of different levels. For example, because of its lower processing temperatures, Ingeo M700 offers more energy efficient and generally easier manufacturing processes to deliver ester functionality and, because it is effectively an anhydrous form of lactic acid, processors will not have to deal with water when using Ingeo M700. Ingeo M700 is up to two times more susceptible to ring-opening reactions than L-, D- or racemic lactides, which can mean less catalyst usage, lower reaction temperatures, faster reaction time and improved throughput. It can be processed below 80degC, which under most circumstances eliminates the need to handle expensive solid particles and allows easier processing.

Biopolymers Supplier NatureWorks Appoints First in Colours and D&L Polymers and Colours as its Resin Distribution and Compounding Partners

Biopolymers supplier NatureWorks has appointed First in Colours (FIC) and D&L Polymers and Colours (DLPC) as its resin distribution and compounding partners, respectively, in the Philippine market. FIC will bring Ingeo to its broad customer base of thermo formers, film extruders and injection molders, and DLPC will perform modifications and compounding of products to achieve specific properties. Both FIC and DLPC, which are the wholly-owned subsidiaries of D&L Industries, will provide customized dry colorants, color masterbatches, additives and engineered polymers to the local plastics industry for various applications. FIC will distribute the suite of Ingeo resins that have been developed for the plastics markets. Rigid and film-based Ingeo packaging delivers performance advantages. For instance, clamshell packaging made with Ingeo requires 20 to 30% less material compared to a package made from PET.

Calysta Energy and NatureWorks, LLC Announce an R&D Collaboration to Transform Methane into the Lactic Acid Building Block for Bioplastics

Calysta Energy and NatureWorks, LLC have entered into an exclusive, multi-year collaboration to research and develop a practical, world-scale production process for fermenting methane - a potent greenhouse gas (GHG) - into lactic acid, the building block for Ingeo, lactide intermediates and polymers made from renewable materials. If the collaboration results in the successful commercialization of this technology, the cost to produce Ingeo would be structurally lowered, and the wide range of Ingeo based consumer and industrial products could be produced from an even broader set of carbon-based feedstocks, complementary to what is already in use by NatureWorks. A greenhouse gas 20 times more harmful than carbon dioxide, methane is generated by the natural decomposition of plant materials and is a component of natural gas. Methane is also generated from society's organic wastes and is produced from such activities as waste-water treatment, decomposition within landfills and anaerobic digestion. If successful, the technology could directly access carbon from any of these sources. Determining the feasibility of methane as a commercially viable feedstock for lactic acid may take up to five years, according to NatureWorks. Currently, Ingeo relies on carbon from CO(2) feedstock that has been fixed or sequestered through photosynthesis into simple plant sugars, known as "first generation materials." NatureWorks' facility in Blair, Neb., uses industrially sourced corn starch, while its second facility currently in planning for a location in Southeast Asia will use cane sugar. In parallel with the collaboration, NatureWorks is continuing its broad technology assessment of "second generation" cellulosic sources of carbon. In the case of Southeast Asia, opportunities exist for harvesting cellulosic sugars from bagasse, an abundant lignocellulosic byproduct of sugarcane processing. The research and development collaboration with Calysta Energy relates to NatureWorks strategic interests in feedstock diversification and a structurally simplified, lower cost Ingeo production platform. Calysta Energy is developing its BioGTC(TM) (biological gas-to-chemicals) platform for biological conversion of methane to high value chemicals. The companies will share commercialization rights for select products developed under the agreement.

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