This one is about the the $800,000 funding from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYERSDA) will soon help Novomer commercialize its polypropylene carbonate (PPC) materials made carbon dioxide.
Novomer said it will use Kodak Specialty Chemicals' existing facility at Eastman Business Park in Rochester, NY, for a pilot project to create the PPC plastic for packaging and coating applications (examples are bottles and shrink wrap). Other potential PPC markets include surfactants and fibers. The Rochester Institute of Technology is helping with the product processing development, according to Novomer.
The technology, however, was developed at Cornell University.
This project is the second phase of Novomer's partnership with NYSERDA. The first phase with a $150,000 grant was carried out between December 2008 and May 2009 to investigate the financial, marketing, and environmental potential for PPC materials.
According to an anonymous tip, Novomer is also hooking up with LyondellBasell on a multimillion dollar grant from the Department of Energy for using waste carbon dioxide into chemicals and other products. Based on the synopsis of the DOE grant, LyondellBasell is probably looking into a carbon capture project with Novomer using the carbon to transform it into plastics and other chemicals. Of course this is just my speculation and we will probably hear more about this grant in the near future.
In another green plastic development, scientists from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) announced late last month that they were able to produce bioengineered polylactic acid (PLA) plastic using the E.coli strain in a direct fermentation process.
This makes the renewable production of PLA and lactate-containing copolymers cheaper and more commercially viable, according to the researchers. The team are working with Korean chemical company LG Chem.
In the commercial market meanwhile, Nestle announced its next-generation Eco-Shape(®) bottle, which is said to weigh 9.3 grams on average and contains 60% less plastic than the original, pre-Eco-Shape half-liter PET bottle introduced in the mid-1990s.
The bottle is currently rolling out in Poland Spring® Natural Spring Water, Arrowhead® Mountain Spring Water and Nestle® Pure Life® Purified Water. Other brands as well as additional product sizes will roll out starting in spring 2010.
I wonder how these news including Coca-Cola's PlantBottle and other beverage manufacturers cutting back on their product packaging will affect overall demand for petroleum-based plastics?