Danimer Gets Grant from United Soybean Board to Expand Research of High-Oleic Soybean Oil in Production of Biodegradable PHA
Following the completion of a one-year collaborative project between PHA (polyhydroxyalkanoate) biodegradable bioplastics pioneer Danimer Scientific and the United Soybean Board (USB), Danimer was awarded a $400,000 by USB to expand the company’s evaluation of high-oleic soybean oil (HOSO) as a feedstock in the production of its Nodax PHA.
The material is used to create a wide variety of products, including straws, bottles, and flexible film packaging. The second year of the project will focus on scaling up the use of HOSO on a commercial level. High-oleic soybeans are grown exclusively in the U.S., and the oil produced from the crop provides increased functionality and improved shelf life for applications across the food and manufacturing industries.
As we previously reported, Danimer completed debottlenecking initiatives within its Winchester, Ky., manufacturing facility, which positioned the company to accelerate production of Nodax towards its expectation of reaching 100% of the facility’s current annual run rate capacity of 20 million lbs of Nodax- based resins by the end of 2021. Nodax PHA is produced through natural fermentation processes using plant oil from crops such as canola. The material is certified to degrade in a variety of environments at the end of its lifecycle, including industrial composting facilities, backyard compost units, and soil and marine environments.
Said Danimer’s chief science and technology officer Phil Van Trump, “HOSO is readily available material in the United States, likely making it a viable and cost-effective feedstock in the production of Nodax. We are pleased with the results of our first year collaborating with the United Soybean Board, and we thank them for their continued partnership in finding sustainable ways to meet rising demand for biodegradable products.”
Said Danimer’s director of microbiology Carol Leggett, “The first year of our research has produced excellent results that show HOSO is a viable feedstock in the manufacture of Nodax. As we continue to expand the commercial production of Nodax, HOSO is expected to serve as a valuable tool to strengthen our supply chain and bottom line. The progress we’ve made to this point would not have been possible without the collaboration of the Omni Tech International, SmithBucklin, and the United Soybean Board and their farmer members.”
According to Ed Lammers, USB’s farmer-director, their 78 volunteer farmer-directors work on behalf of all soybean farmers to achieve maximum value for their investments and increase preference for U.S. soy. “We are excited to continue working with Danimer to drive soybean innovation
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