Novomer Expands Green Materials Commercialization With Kodak, RIT and NYSERDA
$800,000 New York State Funding Set to Create Green Jobs, Increase Manufacturing and Reduce Dependency on Petroleum-Based Plastics
BOSTON, MA–(Marketwire – December 14, 2009) – Novomer Inc., a materials company pioneering a family of high-performance plastics, polymers and other chemicals from renewable feedstocks such as carbon dioxide, today announced a major green materials commercialization effort co-funded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). The $800,000 project is the second phase of a partnership with NYSERDA.
Leveraging Novomer's patented catalyst technology — developed at Cornell — the effort will create polypropylene carbonate (PPC) materials for packaging and coating applications from bottles to film, but using as much as 50 percent less energy than traditional plastics manufacturing and removing significant amounts of carbon dioxide from the environment. In partnership with Kodak Specialty Chemicals and the Rochester Institute of Technology, the effort also will leverage existing infrastructure and expertise, allowing all of the investment to go into manufacturing, creating new green jobs in upstate New York.
"This investment by NYSERDA will help further Governor David Paterson's goals of reducing energy consumption, promoting the use of renewable energy sources, protecting the environment, and bolstering New York's economy," said Francis J. Murray, Jr., NYSERDA President and CEO. "In the first phase of the project, Novomer's 'home grown' innovations from the remarkable work at Cornell performed exceptionally well. We are very excited for this next phase and for the large scale potential it represents for New York and the world."
The first phase of the project, based on an earlier $150,000 grant, was a feasibility study carried out between December 2008 and May 2009 to investigate the financial, marketing, and environmental potential for PPC materials. Both project phases included a 50 percent cost share. The phase one results demonstrated the ability for Novomer's catalysts to create PPC materials leveraging the existing manufacturing infrastructure at a lower cost, while offering higher performance than petroleum-based plastics, and vastly reducing the environmental impact.
For example, Novomer's PPCs offered a significantly improved oxygen barrier, beneficial for food packaging needs to maintain freshness and prevent spoilage. They also offered a unique combination of impact resistance and stiffness not seen in commodity plastics today. These characteristics would allow for less material to be needed for the same applications. Additionally, the resulting reduction in weight would also reduce energy and transportation costs throughout the supply chain.
"Currently, 10 percent of oil in the United States is used for plastics manufacturing and packaging," said Jim Mahoney, CEO of Novomer. " Novomer's ability to reduce petroleum usage by at least 50 percent — while also converting CO2 from pollution into valuable materials — has the potential to transform the plastics and materials landscape on a global scale."
Novomer (www.novomer.com) is a revolutionary new materials company pioneering a family of low-cost, high-performance, sustainable plastics, polymers and other chemicals. Based on the pioneering catalyst work of Dr. Geoff Coates at Cornell University, Novomer's groundbreaking technology allows carbon dioxide and other renewable feedstocks to be cost-effectively transformed into polymers, plastics and other chemicals for a wide variety of industrial markets. The company is partnered with equity investors Flagship Ventures, Physic Ventures, OVP Venture Partners, DSM Venturing and KensaGroup, and has received support from the Department of Energy, National Science Foundation and the State of New York.
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