PHA resin manufacturer Danimer Scientific has become one of eight organizations receiving a total of nearly $5.7 million in support to conduct research and development projects within the biomanufacturing industry. Of the eight award recipients selected by the U.S. Department of Energy, only Danimer Scientific focuses on the manufacture of biodegradable plastics.
As part of the Agile BioFoundry (ABF) consortium, which is sponsored by the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's Bioenergy Technologies Office, the projects will leverage National Laboratory capabilities to develop a biomanufacturing platform accessible to researchers across the private and public sectors.
Each of the ABF Directed Funding Opportunity awardees will be invited to collaborate with National Lab research facilities to conduct their proposed research; each has committed to a minimum 20 percent cost-share contribution.
ABF partners include Argonne National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and more than a dozen university and industry partners.
Danimer Scientific's project will accelerate the commercialization of polyhydroxyalkanoate, a biodegradable alternative to traditional plastic. The company will produce tunable combinations of PHA with different chain lengths, enabling the creation of new biodegradable plastics for a greater range of applications.
To carry out the work, Danimer Scientific will work closely with research teams at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo., and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash.
"Reducing the environmental impact of single-use plastic waste is one of the most pressing issues facing our planet, and with the DOE's support, we can explore potential new areas of applications for PHAs that have not been tried before," said Phil Van Trump, chief technology officer of Danimer Scientific. "We thank the DOE for its support of this project and are looking forward to breaking new ground in the world of biodegradable plastics."
Danimer Scientific's signature Nodax PHA possesses seven TüV AUSTRIA certifications and statements of industrial and home compostability; is biodegradable in anaerobic soil, freshwater and marine environments; and is 100 percent bio-based. All of Danimer Scientific's biopolymers, including its Nodax PHA, are FDA-approved for food contact.