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Renewable Bioplastics Production

Award Information
Agency: Environmental Protection Agency
Branch: N/A
Contract: 68HERC20C0004
Agency Tracking Number: B18P2-5A01
Amount: $299,997.98
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 18-NCER-P2
Solicitation Number: 68HE0D19
Timeline
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-11-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-10-31
Small Business Information
244 Sobrante Way, Sunnyvale, CA, 94086-4807
DUNS: 183365410
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Tahmina Imam
 Lead Chemical Engineer
 (408) 328-8304
 tahmina@altextech.com
Business Contact
 Alexander Kelly
Title: Contracts Manager
Phone: (408) 328-8311
Email: alex@altextech.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
Current petroleum-derived-plastics contain additives such as phthalates or bisphenolA that are harmful to human health and the environment. Thus, it’s critical to replace such toxic non-biodegradable plastics with biodegradable bioplastics. To meet bioplastics production need, Altex, and Texas A&M University (TAMU) have teamed up to utilize renewable biomass, such as forest residue, agricultural waste, corn stover etc., to produce polyhydroxyalkanoates, PHA for green-bioplastics-production, using a feed-flexible, chemicals free pretreatment, and environment friendly microbial conversion process called Renewable Bioplastics Production (RBP).
Most bioplastics being produced are from cellulose structure of the plant, resulting in low yield and high cost. During EPA-Phase I, the RBP process was successfully performed in bench scale to produce PHA from the Altex pretreated biomass. The RBP test results showed that it’s a high yield-low cost process, where a PHA yield of 53% was achieved from lingo-cellulosic biomass. Economic analysis showed a bioplastics production cost of $0.26/lb. With a selling price of $1.1/lb (to be competitive with plastic – $0.9 to $3/lb), a simple payback is half a year. Altex RBP plant also reduces GHG emissions by 0.84 to 152 MM tons/year depending on different biomass. This is significant effect on our environment
Under the proposed Phase II Altex has added Danimer Scientific, a bioplastic manufacturer, to the Altex-TAMU team to demonstrate the end-to-end biomass to bioplastics production. During Phase II, Altex and the team members will optimize the PHA extraction from cells to maximize the bioplastics yield and develop extrusion method to produce bioplastics resins for a final sellable consumer product, such as water bottles. These activities will help Altex define the specific bioplastics product and follow the respective market for commercialization. Altex will work with its’ commercialization partner, Danimer Scientific to assess the RBP Bioplastics. Their products include biodegradable water bottles for Nestlé. There is a substantial synergy between Altex’s PHA and Danimer approach
Altex’s business model is to license the RBP technology to Danimer, adding a cheaper bioplastic to their current product line as a potential licensee of RBP technology. Low cost of RBP allows the product to be competitive with plastic and capture a vast market. According to European Bioplastics Association, bioplastics represent about 1% of the 320 million tonnes of plastic produced annually and is growing. The targeted final customers are the ones that currently use petroleum-sourced plastic products. The product’s low cost and its low carbon foot print will attract these customers.

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

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