Plaxica is a technology licensing company founded in 2008 as a spin-out from Imperial College, London and now has offices and in London, and a pilot plant facility at the Wilton Centre in Cleveland, supported by R&D laboratories at both sites. The green chemistry company has almost 30 employees, including chemists, biotechnologists, material scientists and chemical process engineers.

Plaxica develops, demonstrates and designs process plant for the production of the key intermediates for conventional and stereocomplex polylactic acid (PLA) – a biopolymer made from renewable materials. Plaxica’s unique chemical conversion technologies allow partners to produce high value renewable chemicals and ingredients using chemical processes.

Suitable feedstocks for Plaxica technologies include low value waste and industrial by-product streams, with a particular focus on the paper and pulp industry.

The Optipure® technology produces high value D lactic acid from many lactic species including polylactic acid waste streams. The Xylex® technology produces pure mixed sugars from a hemicellulose-rich feedstock. The use of hemicellulose significantly reduces the high cost of hydrolysis seen in cellulose to sugar technologies.