Mitsui Toatsu is a chemical company with $4.3 billion in sales in 1993. Polypropylene (PP), polystyrene (PS), and poly(vinyl chlorine) (or PVC) are the company's major products in the commodity sector. The team visited the company's Life Sciences Department. The six groups in the Life Sciences Department are pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, plant biotechnology, biotechnology, amino acids, and biodegradable polymers. The task group was introduced to the company through the company's brochures and descriptions of the products and research.
- Mitsui Toatsu is a large chemical company that plans to become a raw materials supplier in biodegradable polymers. The company currently manufactures two types of biodegradable polymers for medical applications: polyglycolic acid and glycolic-lactic acid copolymers.
- Mitsui Toatsu has patented a novel process to polymerize lactic acid through direct condensation polymerization to obtain high molecular weight poly(lactic acid).
- The company plans to build a plant between 1995 and 1998 to produce 1,000 to 10,000 tons per year of poly(lactic acid).
- Mitsui Toatsu believes that the introduction of legislation to mandate the use of biodegradable polymers would be a key factor for expanding the market.
Published: March 1995; WTEC Hyper-Librarian