Penford Corporation, a company with significant business and expertise in specialty starches and sustainable bio-products and Novomer Inc., a new materials company pioneering a family of high-performance plastics and polymers using renewable feedstocks such as carbon dioxide, announce that they have entered into a Joint Development Agreement that will leverage the two companies’ core technologies and expertise. he new alliance was created to accelerate the development and commercialization of innovative Starch-Polypropylene Carbonate polymer composites. Unmodified starch use has been limited due to inherent performance characteristics but has long been targeted as a cost effective, renewable material for a broad range of packaging applications. When modified, specialty starches can be compatible with other polymers to extend the use and modify the properties of those polymers for targeted uses. Polypropylene Carbonate (PPC), a thermoplastic polymer composed of nearly 50% by weight of waste CO2, has superior mechanical and barrier properties and a chemical backbone that is compatible and likely synergistic with specialty modified starch. It is anticipated that the creation of starch-PPC composites will yield low cost, environmentally sustainable packaging polymers suitable for the multi-billion dollar global packaging materials market.
“This is an exciting opportunity to further expand our efforts to develop and commercialize cost effective, sustainable bio-products,” said Penford’s Director of Business Development, Michael Friesema. Adding to this, Dr. Wallace Kunerth, Penford’s Chief Science Officer, said, “Novomer’s expertise in sustainable polymers combined with Penford’s expertise in specialty starch based formulations provide an opportunity to create highly-functional, cost-effective, and renewable thermoplastics to extend or replace petroleum based plastics in barrier films and structured articles.”
“Governments and companies, especially those in packaged goods markets around the globe, continue to place a heavy emphasis on initiatives aimed at reducing carbon levels in the atmosphere and creating alternatives to petroleum based plastics,” said Peter Shepard, Executive Vice President of Novomer. “We believe that the combination of Novomer's extensive PPC technology with Penford's lower cost, renewable specialty starch products will create truly novel and cost effective packaging materials and a new avenue to address these market needs.”