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STTR Phase I: Cellulose Based Material Innovations for Ocean Compostable Fish Friendly Plastic Packaging Replacement Platform Technology

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2006445
Agency Tracking Number: 2006445
Amount: $225,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: CT
Solicitation Number: N/A
Timeline
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2020
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2020-06-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-05-31
Small Business Information
42 Mill St
Orono, ME 04473
United States
DUNS: 081223907
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Ariadne Dimoula
 (207) 307-9393
 ariadne.dimoulas@maine.edu
Business Contact
 Ariadne Dimoula
Phone: (207) 307-9393
Email: ariadne.dimoulas@maine.edu
Research Institution
 University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth
 Chen-Lu Yang
 
285 Old Westport Road
North Dartmouth, MA 02747
United States

 Nonprofit college or university
Abstract

The broader impact/commercial potential of this STTR project is advancing the development of environmentally safe packaging. The global packaging market has been estimated to grow to $980 B in 2022, with lids estimated at $1.4 B in 2020. As 40% of plastic is created for one-time-use, a need exists for innovative packaging. The current petroleum plastic lids are not sustainable nor recycled and they do not break down in the environment. The proposed solution is a new class of hot and cold drink lids that are low-cost, can be recycled with paper, and will not harm the ocean environment if littered. This STTR Phase I project proposes to advance the translation of a method to use highly refined wood cellulose microfibers, combined with calcium carbonate and other low-cost additives, to generate a lid that mimics the feel of current plastic polypropylene and polystyrene lids but provides excellent environmental performance. The environmental impact will be tested via decomposition time, and ocean impact by zebrafish embryo exposure effects and mortality. The proposed solution will demonstrate environmental decomposing behavior not obtained with any petroleum or corn plastic material. The technical hurdles include molding and drying this new pulp into an automated lid production process at scale. This project will characterize this new pulp. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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