Japan's Green Science Alliance has developed a biomass-based plasticizer for PVC based on lactic acid. While several biomass-based plasticizers derived from natural materials such citric acid and soybean oil already exist, Green Science Alliance believes its lactic acid-based plasticizer is the first of its kind to be commercialized.
The lactic acid-based plasticizer performs on a par with petroleum-derived commercial plasticizer for PVC. The biomass content of the lactic acid-based plasticizer is about 55–60 %, although Green Science Alliance plans to continue development in order to raise the biomass content further.
Fossil fuel-based plasticizers include those based on phthalic acid, trimellitic acid base, cis-4-cyclohexene-1,2-dicarboxylic acid base, adipic acid , phosphoric acid, and polyester. Phthalate-based plasticizers are of particular concern from a toxicity perspective.