Ecovia Renewables, Inc. Awarded NSF Grant to Develop High Performance Superabsorbent Biopolymers

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BioGel™ can be used in eco-certified hygiene products as an alternative to conventional petrochemical materials, without compromising performance

Ecovia Renewables, Inc. announced today that the company was awarded a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Under the award, Ecovia Renewables, Inc. will receive approximately $750,000 over two years to develop a suite of BioGel™ biopolymer materials for hygiene applications, particularly for use in the absorbent cores of infant diapers. The proposal, entitled “SBIR Phase II: Efficient Production of a High Performance and Eco-Friendly Superabsorbent Microbial Biopolymer for Hygiene Applications,” explores a novel microbial co-culture fermentation route for cost-effective production of biodegradable and non-toxic superabsorbent materials from renewable biomass resources.

“This award allows us to continue our mission to develop eco-friendly, biobased solutions for the personal care industry,” said Dr. Jeremy Minty, President of Ecovia Renewables. “BioGel materials can be incorporated into hygiene products like baby diapers without compromising quality and performance.”

Super absorbent polymers, known as SAPs, are used in a variety of applications and are primarily composed of petrochemical-based polymers like sodium polyacrylate. These materials are non-biodegradable and are used in the absorbent core of disposable diapers, among many other personal care products. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, babies use over twenty billion disposable diapers per year in the United States with the vast majority ending up in landfills. The Environmental Protection Agency says…

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