Novomer Inc. has a new top executive, a new business development chief and a new headquarters in the Boston area.
And if that isn't enough, the materials technology firm also has made the first commercial sale of its polypropylene carbonate resin.
The new chief executive officer is Jim Mahoney, a 20-year biotechnology and health-care veteran who joins Novomer from drug-development firm Surface Logix Inc. of Brighton, Mass. Mahoney joins President Charles Hamilton in Novomer's executive ranks.
Peter Shepard is Novomer's new vice president of business development. Shepard has 25 years of experience in polymers and specialty chemicals and most recently served as CEO of nylon resin maker Nylon Corp. of America in Manchester, N.H., for three years. Shepard joined Novomer in August.
The new business headquarters is in Waltham, Mass. Novomer will retain a research and development center in Ithaca, N.Y., its original location.
In a Nov. 19 telephone interview, Shepard declined to identify Novomer's first commercial customer, but he did say the contract is for a high-molecular-weight PPC binding resin in an electronics product made worldwide.
PPC ``is a high-performance material with a low-cost, sustainable feedstock,'' Shepard said. ``Sustainability is a driver that affects our customers and their business.''
PPC is produced by combining propylene oxide with carbon dioxide or carbon monoxide. Officials have said PPC uses 50 percent less fossil fuels that standard plastics.
``Now, if people buy a bottle of water and throw away the bottle, they feel a little guilty about that,'' Shepard added. ``That attitude is working its way through the food chain.''
Looking ahead, Shepard said Novomer is working on low-molecular-weight PPC grades based on carbon dioxide that can be used with polyurethane and with coatings and surfactants. Another HMW grade is being developed for flexible packaging.
In carbon monoxide, Novomer is formulating PPC that can be used as an intermediate for polybutylene terephthalate resin and in Lycra and Spandex fibers.
Novomer was launched in 2004 by technology investor Kensa Group LLC of Ithaca and researchers at Cornell University in Ithaca. Other investors include plastics and chemicals maker Royal DSM NV of Heerlen, Netherlands, which bought an equity stake in Novomer in 2007.