Technology Description

Plaxica’s Versalac® technology produces low cost lactic acid from a variety of bio-feedstocks. Versalac® is a continuous chemical process with fast reaction times and the lowest variable cost of any available commercial lactic acid technology. Unlike fermentation, the process is tolerant of many chemical impurities including lignin and other materials.

Versalac® is proven to give good yields of lactic acid from many feedstocks including forestry, agricultural and industrial by-product streams. The process is robust and uses proven, widely available, materials and technologies.  Implementation of Versalac® technology is tailored to your application and designed on a site specific basis. This approach maximises integration opportunities and process synergies which enables partners to realise the maximum return on their investment.

Plaxica’s Optipure® technology is a robust, scalable chemical process which separates racemic lactic acid into valuable pure L & D isomer streams which are suitable for processing into high performance polylactic acid (PLA). Optipure® adds significant value to racemic lactic acid at very low cost.

The Optipure® process can be configured to produce D lactic acid from L lactic acid and also to produce D lactic acid from PLA production waste streams such as meso lactide & lactic oligomers.

Low cost L & D lactic acids can be used to produce high performance polylactic acid with enhanced thermal, barrier and mechanical performance. These enhanced properties give PLA access to high volume commodity polymer markets such as automotive, apparel and consumer goods.


The Versalac® process converts low cost sugar feedstocks into lactic acid at a cost which results in a viable C3 intermediate.

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Optipure® is a novel, low cost proprietary technology for converting racemic lactic acid (50-50 L &D), or pure L-lactic acid into D-lactic acid.  D-lactic acid can even be produced from low purity waste lactic acid or lactide stream such as meso lactide.

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Key Features

Versalac® technology focuses on low cost, non-food sugar sources.  It will work with non-fermentable sugars (C5, C6) derived from:

  • Paper and pulp mill waste streams

  • Molasses

  • C5 hydrolysates from “cellulose to sugar” processes