High Performance Low Cost Bio-Polymer Building Material From CO2 and Recycled Wastes

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-12ER90398
Agency Tracking Number: 87564
Amount: $1,009,669.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2013
Solicitation Year: 2013
Solicitation Topic Code: 17b
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0000880
Small Business Information
111 Ridge Road, Horseheads, NY, 14845-1507
DUNS: 144836959
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Ben Wen
 (607) 796-0830
Business Contact
 Jessica Zhang
Title: Ms.
Phone: (607) 796-0830
Email: p-zhang@unitedee.com
Research Institution
About 1,700 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) were emitted from 572 coal-fired power plants in 2012 in the U.S. To reduce the CO2 emissions, CO2 capture and sequestration processes need to be implemented. In addition to CO2, these plants produce more than 72 million tons of fly ash per year, among which 40 million tons are disposed of in landfills or surface impoundments with disposal costs of $222 million per year. Any beneficial, practical utilization of CO2 and fly ash to produce high value and high volume products would greatly relieve the pressure on the power industry. This proposed project concerns a novel and beneficial CO2 utilization technology concurrent with fly ash application. In the presence of fly ash, flue gas CO2 interacts with renewable oils to produce a high performance, low cost, highly energy efficient, and environmentally friendly biopolymer building material. Classified as a non-hazardous material, this biopolymer can be used to replace or serve as an additive to petroleum based asphalt, sealant, and polymers in the manufacture of building materials. Compared to petroleum based products, this biopolymer has significant advantages, including substantially lower production costs, direct use of flue gas CO2 without compression, utilization of renewable and recycled materials, a water- and solvent-free production process with no waste streams, improved thermal durability and low temperature performance, improved fungal resistance, high energy efficiency, and elimination of the odor and volatile organic compounds emissions associated with petroleum products. In Phase I, the biopolymer was successfully produced, and its properties were fully characterized. The optimal biopolymer production conditions were determined. The technical feasibility of this technology has been successfully established. An economic analysis was conducted and demonstrated the economic viability of this technology. The overall objectives of Phase II are to bring this proven and viable CO2 based biopolymer production technology from a laboratory scale to a pilot scale process, produce biopolymer for industrial scale evaluations at other companies, and demonstrate its commercial viability. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: An efficient transformation of CO2 and recycled waste into a high value biopolymer is of significant importance for resource utilization and pollution prevention. The success of this project will result in a high performance biopolymer for sustainable building and infrastructure construction that will bring significant cost savings to the end-users, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and waste disposal, protect the environment, reduce the use of petroleum based products, and meet the future building and infrastructure needs.

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

Agency Micro-sites

SBA logo
Department of Agriculture logo
Department of Commerce logo
Department of Defense logo
Department of Education logo
Department of Energy logo
Department of Health and Human Services logo
Department of Homeland Security logo
Department of Transportation logo
Environmental Protection Agency logo
National Aeronautics and Space Administration logo
National Science Foundation logo
US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government