New Biodegradable Packaging from a Synergistic Combination of Agricultural By-products

Award Information
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Branch: N/A
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 2010-00237
Amount: $88,628.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2010
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: 8.8
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
2121 STAUNTON CT, Palo Alto, CA, 94306
DUNS: 616027483
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Shan Jin
 (650) 739-0699
Business Contact
 Aseem Das
Title: CEO & Founder
Phone: (650) 283-3797
Research Institution
Thousands of tons of food service disposable and packaging products made from non-renewable resources are discarded every year in the USA. Not only do these products pollute and stay in the environment for hundreds of years, they are also toxic in production, usage and disposal. According to Environmental Protection Agency 970 thousand tons of paper plates and cups , 910 thousand tons of stryofoam plates and cups and 20 thousand tons of plastic plates and cups were disposed off in landfills in the USA in 2005. There is a slowly growing awareness of the waste and resource issue and sustainable alternatives made from non-toxic and annually renewable resources such are starch based bioplastics or sugar cane fiber are starting to replace the existing disposables and packaging products. However, these alternatives are increasing our nation's import and we estimate that at least $100 Million or more of biodegradable packaging is being imported from Asia. The importance of locally producing non-food biobased alternatives to such imports is timely and self-reinforcing for our nation's well-being. Our goal is to address the rising demand for biodegradable materials by creating compostable food packaging materials from a synergistic mixture of agricultural by-products. We have identified artichoke and onion as a possible mix which would have relevant mechanical properties for compostable food packaging. Our goal is to test possible combinations of artichoke and onion residue materials for suitability for compostable food packaging and as well for biodegradation. Different pulp mixtures of artichoke and onion residues will be generated and tested and scientifically analyzed for their properties and applicability to food packaging. Supporting artichoke and onion production has a great deal of significance for our nation. Creating a market for artichoke and onion residues and secondary scraps could lower the barriersfor aspiring farmers, perhaps discourage imports and could lead to opportunities for farmers producing artichoke or onion. As an alternative to struggling to find ways of disposing farm residues and scraps of these materials, a market for artichoke and onion residues could ease their efforts or provide a small income stream in the future. Besides providing opportunities for farmers with artichoke or onion residues, the proposed R&D could lead to a new industry for manufacturing non-food biobased products at the source of their generation. Rural farms could simply pass their residues locally to another facility making industrial biobased products, or these farms may integrated themselves vertically by creating their own value-added biobased inputs for industry

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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