Monomer technology can cut production costs: Sirrus CEO

15 May 2014 03:56 Source:ICIS News

By Jessie Waldheim

Sirrus CEO Jeff UhrigPHILADELPHIA (ICIS)--Sirrus has developed bulk manufacturing of reactive alkene monomers, which can be polymerised on demand or be formulated for a wide variety of high performance characteristics, its CEO said on Wednesday.

"I think the flexibility is kind of inspiring," Sirrus CEO Jeff Uhrig said.

The monomers can be created to apply as a liquid that can be "cured" with an initiator and without the need for drying time or need for high temperatures, reducing time and costs for manufacturing. They can be created to bond dissimilar materials, like plastic, metals glass and wood, also without high temperatures, he said.

The monomers can also be developed to create products that reduce the need for building block materials like bisphenol-A (BPA), formaldehyde or styrene. High-performance characteristics such as temperature or chemical resistance, optical clarity, low odor, can be formulated with them.

Rather than develop several versions of the monomers with end-uses in mind, the US-based Sirrus works in the laboratory to tailor the monomers to fit customer needs. The company does not have the resources for a full verticle supply chain, so it focuses on its best aspect, Uhrig said.

"We develop the science and they make the products," he said.

To put focus on its chemistry, Sirrus rebranded itself from its former name Bioformix.

Sirrus has had interest in its monomers from the inks and pigments industry and the coatings and adhesives industry. But the company is also looking for opportunities in the biotechnology industry, Uhrig said.

"Bio-based routes can be unique and can be low cost," he said.

The company's monomer technology is produced with malonic acid, which is currently produced through petrochemicals via acetic acid, he said.

"The hold-up for making [malonic acid] has been that there is no market," Uhrig said. "The long-term goal is to use bio-based feedstock."

Uhrig was attending the 11th annual World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology, which runs through Thursday.

By Jessie Waldheim