Scale up and commercialization of high performance biocomposite structures

Award Information
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2018-33610-28728
Agency Tracking Number: 2018-03277
Amount: $599,384.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 8.8
Solicitation Number: N/A
Timeline
Solicitation Year: 2018
Award Year: 2018
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2018-09-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2020-08-31
Small Business Information
7734 15TH AVE NE, Seattle, WA, 98115-4336
DUNS: 079096950
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Gregory Tudryn
 Chief Scientific Officer
 (413) 262-4667
 greg.tudryn@growplastics.com
Business Contact
 Michael Waggoner
Title: Founder/CEO
Phone: (206) 954-4564
Email: mikewagg@gmail.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
Grow Plastics has a technology that has been demonstrated to generate sandwich core structures in thermoplastic products. This efficient structure allows the generation of plastic products which are equivalent in strength to solid products, yet use 1/3 of the material. This substantial material reduction allows the production of parts that are lower environmental impact (due to source reduction) and lower cost (due to material price savings) when compared to solid products.Biopolymers are plastics made from agricultural materials, and many of them are compostable. The major benefits of biopolymers are lower energy and CO2 produced during manufacture, and lack of harmful chemicals leaching into foods when used for packaging. Their market adoption has been limited due to performance issues, and a slight price premium over petroleum-based plastics. Grow Plastics' source reduction and unique structure solves these problems, which should lead to greater adoption of biopolymers. This will result in increased demand for agricultural products. Grow Plastics is focusing on additive-free compostable biopolymers; replacing conventional polymer products with these products will result in products that can be recycled, composted, or incinerated cleanly.Grow Plastics has partnered with the USDA ARS in Albany, CA and a major food packaging manufacturing partner in southern California in order to demonstrate the technology on a consumer product, using biopolymers. Grow Plastics has produced rough prototypes demonstrating viability of the concept, and produced cost models showing that these biopolymer products will be less expensive than alternatives. The ARS and CSU Chico will help Grow Plastics in developing new materials for these products and generating tooling to make finished goods for customer evaluation.The near-term goals for the project are to:* Generate prototypes that achieve market-ready aesthetics* Convert batch-based results to pilot scale continuous process, and refine cost model demonstrating competitive pricing.* Collaborate with current manufacturing partner and distribution partner in order to outline and implement a fast, smooth path to marketThe long-term goals of the technology are to:* Increase demand for agricultural products* Reduce plastic waste by displacing it with reduced amounts of compostable biopolymer* Generate jobs in rural America by increasing value of US products while manufacturing in rural locations* Reduced human exposure to plasticizers such as BPA, and suspected carcinogens such as styrene

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

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