Valle Foam Industries Inc. is getting a financial nudge to help it commercialize polyurethane foams using naturally derived polyols.
The Brampton, Ontario-based firm will receive C$500,000 (US$510,000 ) to promote its BioPlush product line. The grant comes from the Ontario BioAuto Council of Guelph, Ontario.
Valle Foam has run trials and has begun selling BioPlush foam to the furniture sector, said Dale McNeill, vice president of operations, in a Feb. 28 telephone interview.
``We're also looking at mattresses and bedding,'' McNeill said.
Overall, Valle Foam is committed to replacing up to 25 percent of petroleum-based polyols with the naturally derived types.
BioPlush uses polyols derived from oils such as soybean. Valle Foam replaces petroleum-derived polyols such as polypropylene glycol with the naturally derived alternatives, McNeill explained. He said his firm buys the alternative polyols from suppliers such as Cargill lnc.
Valle Foam's other markets include packaging, carpet and children's toys.
``Valle Foam has always considered the environment in its business decisions, and our new bio-based foam is an extension of that dedication,'' McNeill said in a news release.
Bio-based foams are a growing market as consumers hope to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, according to the Ontario BioAuto Council. Bio-based alternative foams offer equal or better functionality, the agency claims.
Growing bio-foam markets mean ``new opportunities for Ontario companies and the province's natural resource sectors,'' said Ontario BioAuto Council Chief Executive Officer Craig Crawford in a news release.
Privately held Valle Foam employs more than 300 in the Brampton area. Domfoam International Inc. of Saint-Leonard, Quebec, and A-Z Sponge & Foam Products Ltd. of Delta, British Columbia, are affiliated companies.
The Ontario BioAuto Council is a nonprofit organization linking Ontario's agriculture and forestry industries to chemical and plastic makers and to advanced manufacturers to develop products using biological feedstocks. Its first grant was to GreenCore Composites Inc. of Toronto to develop cellulosic fiber composites.