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Danimer Scientific awarded US DOE grant to support bioplastic production

In the United States (US), Danimer Scientific LLC, a leading developer, and manufacturer of biodegradable materials has announced that the US Department of Energy (DOE) has selected the company as one of eight organizations receiving a total of nearly US$5.7 million in support to conduct research and development projects within the biomanufacturing industry.

In December 2018, Danimer Scientific purchased a location in Winchester, Kentucky (KY), to open the world’s first commercial production facility for PHA. The facility was retrofitted with the first full truckload of formulated polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) resin from the facility supplied in January 2020. Engineering work is already underway for the second phase, which will more than double its production capacity by 2021 (photo courtesy Danimer Scientific).

Of the eight recipients announced by the DOE in July 2020, Danimer Scientific is the sole organization focused on the manufacture of biodegradable plastics. The project will accelerate the commercialization of polyhydroxyalkanoate, a material verified by the University of Georgia as a truly biodegradable alternative to traditional petrochemical plastic.

To carry out the work, Danimer Scientific will work closely with research teams at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado (CO) and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, Washington (WA).

Widen PHA application range

With access to state-of-the-art facilities and expertise provided by the DOE program, Danimer Scientific will produce tunable combinations of polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) with different chain lengths, enabling the creation of new biodegradable plastics for a greater range of applications.

Danimer Scientific’s signature “Nodax” PHA possesses seven TUV AUSTRIA certifications and statements of industrial and home compostability. It is biodegradable in anaerobic soil, freshwater, and marine environments and is 100 percent bio-based.

All of Danimer Scientific’s biopolymers, including its Nodax PHA, are Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) approved for food contact.

Reducing the environmental impact of single-use plastic waste is one of the most pressing issues facing our planet, and with the DOE’s support, we can explore potential new areas of applications for PHAs that have not been tried before. We thank the DOE for its support of this project and are looking forward to breaking new ground in the world of biodegradable plastics, said Phil Van Trump, CTO of Danimer Scientific.

Part of ABF consortium

Part of the Agile BioFoundry (ABF) consortium, the eight projects selected by the DOE will leverage National Laboratory capabilities to address challenges in biomanufacturing.

Sponsored by the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office, the Agile BioFoundry (ABF) aims to advance biomanufacturing by uniting and expanding the capabilities of the National Laboratories to develop a robust, agile biomanufacturing platform accessible to researchers across the private and public sectors.

ABF partners include Argonne National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and more than a dozen university and industry partners.

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