In 2006, Metabolix Inc. (Nasdaq: MBLX), and Archer Daniels Midland (NYSE: ADM) formed a a 50-50 joint venture company operating under the name of Telles to commercialize Mirel(TM) Natural Plastics. The companies announced today that they will jointly produce biobased and totally biodegradable Mirel Natural Plastics.
Telles(TM,) is now building its first commercial scale plant in Clinton, Iowa. This plant is expected to start up in 2008 and will produce Mirel at an annual rate of 110 million pounds.
Metabolix's founders, Oliver Peoples and Anthony Sinskey, were the first to show that PHAs (polyhydroxyalkanoates -- the chemical term for a naturally occurring form of polyester ultimately derived from sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water through the process of photosynthesis) could be produced by recombinant organisms through work they did at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology during the 1980s.
Made by microbial fermentation of sugars such as corn sugar or cane sugar or vegetable oils, Mirel natural plastics are biobased, sustainable and totally biodegradable alternatives to petroleum-based plastics that are used for many everyday products. Mirel is produced from renewable resources using a fully biological fermentation process, producing a versatile range of biobased natural plastics with excellent durability in use but that also biodegrade benignly in a wide range of environments.