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Locally Sourced Canola to Improve Sustainable Biopolymer Manufacturing

MeredianBiopolymer manufacturer Meredian is utilizing canola as a new cash crop to revolutionize its biopolymer production.

The Georgia-based company said it is the world’s largest producer of PHA (polyhydroxyalkanoate). Canola, which is local to Decatur county, has been selected by Meredian as the chief component of its process to produce pelletized raw material supply for manufacturing a wide range of biodegradable plastic products.

The company said the canola crop is a critical component to Meredian’s production of bioplastics because vegetable oil is the single most important, yet costly, factor in Meredian’s manufacturing process. The crop can be planted locally and harvested twice per year.

Meredian seeks to establish canola growth that can sustain the capacity of its 60 million pound fermentation facility. In order to meet the needs of this facility, 100,000 acres of canola must be utilized. In October 2013, 1,000 acres of canola seed were planted in Decatur County and are set to be harvested in April 2014.

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