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Patent Awarded for Heat Resistant Polylactic Acid Polymers

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Cereplast Inc., a manufacturer of bio-based plastics in El Segundo, California, received a patent for its formulation of heat-resistant polymers with polylactic acid. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued number 8,222,320 to Cereplast CEO Frederic Scheer and researcher William Kelly on 17 July 2012.

Polylactic acid is a natural resin that can be formed into packaging and other plastic products, but it suffers from a low melting temperature and breaks down structurally when heated. The patent applies to Cereplast’s formulation of polymers with polylactic acid that the company says are industrially compostable and can retain their structural properties at temperatures greater than 165 degrees Fahrenheit (74 degrees Celsius).

The patent indicates the Cereplast formulation includes aliphatic polyesters and organically coated calcium carbonates. The formulation also includes mineral nanoparticles ranging from 20 to 500 nanometers in size; 1 nanometer equals 1 billionth of a meter.

Cereplast develops and manufactures resins made from PLA, reinforced with other biodegradable components. The early-stage blends are then polymerized and treated with nanoscale composites for surface optimization and more reinforcement, finishing up as resin pellets.

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