Cargill Dow LLC has unveiled Ingeo, a new fiber brand concept based on technology that allows man-made fibers to be derived from annually renewable resources, such as maize.

Ingeo is a natural-based synthetic fiber designed to meet the performance requirements of traditional petroleum-based fibers, the company says.

Ingeo is designed for use in a range of apparel, carpet, fiberfill, non-woven, furnishings and industrial applications.

To make Ingeo, plant starches are broken down into natural plant sugars. The resulting carbon and other elements are then used to make a polymer, called NatureWorks PLA. The development and manufacturing of PLA polymer relies on basic fermentation and distillation as its core chemical process, followed by simple polymerization. Once the resin is converted into a fiber, it becomes Ingeo.

At the end of their useful life, products made from Ingeo will fully degrade in industrial compost systems, similar to cotton. Where composting is not an option, Ingeo is compatible with standard waste disposal systems including recycling, landfill and incineration, the company says.