TerraVerdae Bioworks, headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta has secured CA$4.5 million — around US$3.2 million — in new funding to expand its product development facilities in Edmonton.
The funds were provided by Alberta Innovates, Natural Resources Canada’s Clean Growth Program, advisory services and research and development funding from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program, and other investors, and will be used by TerraVerdae for the further development of its expertise and available capacity. This includes advancing its in-house product development expertise and the purchase of equipment for the production of industrial bioplastics.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is driving retail demand for single-use plastics like grocery bags to reduce the risk of community transmission. Bioplastics convert renewable carbon sources into must-have products that help reduce waste plastic contamination; that’s a concrete example of innovation,” said Laura Kilcrease, CEO of Alberta Innovates, an organization investing in research, innovation and entrepreneurship to drive provincial economic growth and diversity.
TerraVerdae produces polyhydroxyalkanoate or PHA polymers; materials that offer a sustainable path forward for product manufacturers and help address the global build-up of plastic trash on land and in water. Its polymer technology is based on the use of renewable carbon feedstock such as municipal and forestry waste or agricultural residues that is fermented by microbes.
With a focus on films and coatings, thermoplastic moldings, adhesives and specialty PHAs, TerraVerdae’s products find application in a range of sectors, including the agricultural, forestry, food packaging, adhesives and personal-care markets.
One product is a bioplastic pouch for tree seedlings that will be consumed by soil microbes and disappear within several months of planting in the forest. TerraVerdae plans to test launch the bioplastic pouches later this year for commercial use by foresters, to be followed by other bioplastic products for use in other sectors.
“Each year the forest industry plants millions of tree seedlings. With Arbor Day taking place in many jurisdictions from late April to early May, we think this is a great time to announce this major funding from Alberta Innovates, Natural Resources Canada and the National Research Council of Canada, along with private investors in our global network,” said William Bardosh, CEO and founder, of TerraVerdae Bioworks Inc.