STTR Phase II: Advanced Poly(lactide) (PLA) Materials for Extruded and Molding Applications

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1127552
Agency Tracking Number: 1127552
Amount: $500,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2012
Solicitation Year: 2012
Solicitation Topic Code: MM
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
4201 Woodland Road, P.O. Box 69, Circle Pines, MN, 55014-0069
DUNS: 054484001
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 (763) 225-6646
Business Contact
Phone: (763) 225-6646
Research Institution
 Michigan State University
 Ramani Narayan
 301 Administration Building
East Lansing, MI, 48824-
 (517) 355-5040
 Nonprofit college or university
This Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) Phase II project proposes to formulate and engineer chemically modified bio-based and biodegradable Poly(Lactide) based compounds, to generate a new class of materials that are, high strength, lightweight, multifunctional, environmentally friendly & cost-effective as an alternative to petroleum based polymers. NTIC has successfully commercialized a portfolio of reactive blended bio-based and/or biodegradable resins for extrusion, molding, and coating applications. However, it faces a major hurdle due to poor mechanical properties, high prices, and higher densities of current PLA materials. NTIC successfully developed novel chemistries of compatibilization to create advanced PLA bio-resins that offer improved toughness in Phase I of this work. The newly synthesized materials were applied in four different processing platforms to provide extruded films, injection molded cutlery, extrusion coated paper, and extrusion blow molded bottles. Phase II funding will allow NTIC to build on the success of the initial trials and build an improved, broader portfolio of high strength and economically viable PLA based products. The broader impacts of this research are technical, environmental, and economical. This work will (1) widen the window of performance of PLA based applications; (2) further fundamental understanding of PLA and its chemistries (3) greatly increase the use of biobased products in larger industrial and packaging markets implying environmental preservation of fossil fuel resources; and (4) create new jobs for sales, manufacturing, technical support of newly developed Natur-Tec® products.

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

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