Biopolymer manufacturer Danimer Scientific has received a $400,000 grant from the United Soybean Board to expand its research into high-oleic soybean oil (HOSO) as a base for biodegradable plastics. The funding follows on from the group’s year-long collaboration with the Board developing an effective model using HOSO feedstock to make Danimer’s biopolymer Nodax – used as a plastic alternative in products ranging from bottles to flexible film. The second year of the project will be looking at scaling this model up to commercial levels.
“The first year of our research has produced excellent results that show HOSO is a viable feedstock in the manufacture of Nodax,” said Carol Leggett, PhD, Director of Microbiology at Danimer. “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.”
High-oleic soybeans is an exclusively US-grown crop, and has been identified by the United Soybean Board as ‘position[ing] the US soy industry into the future’. The oil derived from the crop performs under high-heat conditions and when applied to food produce, improves functionality and shelf life.
“HOSO is readily available material in the United States, likely making it a viable and cost-effective feedstock in the production of Nodax,” said Phil Van Trump, Chief Science and Technology Officer of Danimer. “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.”
The team is currently producing its Nodax product at commercial scale at a new site in Winchester, Kentucky.