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Using synthetic biology, we are building a biomanufacturing platform capable of turning industrial waste into high-value, sustainable petrochemical alternatives. By using waste-derived raw materials, our innovations overcome the resource constraints traditionally associated with biomanufacturing, including the overuse of farmland and nearby bodies of water required by plant-based raw materials.

PHB is a biodegradable raw material that offers similar durability, barrier properties, and shelf life as petroplastics, without polluting the environment. Upon disposal, PHB’s complete biodegradation is accelerated by microbial activity, allowing it to degrade in both terrestrial and marine environments in less than 2 years, over 100x faster than petroplastics and 10x faster than leading bio-based alternatives. PHB can be blended with other biomaterials and performance-modifiers to create higher-performance biocomposites. At small, highly-concentrated volumes, these formulations are often referred to as masterbatches. 

Ourobio turns industrial byproducts into low-footprint, PHB masterbatches – lowering the cost, footprint, and difficulty of producing performance-enhanced bio-based products and packaging. We will acquire waste from nearby waste producers/ aggregators, and will work with bioplastic compounders and molders to create specialized blends with our dyed, low-footprint PHB masterbatches. Initially, production will be focused on using whey-containing byproducts to produce masterbatches with high bio-based indigo dye concentrations, as there are very few PHA masterbatch producers in the global market, and none that are using biobased pigments and dyes to color their biodegradable plastic.

PHB most closely resembles Polypropylene (PP), Polyethylene (PE) and Poly Lactic Acid (PLA), and is best suited for use in molded/rigid goods and packaging. 

 

Transfoam PHB™ Impact Summary:

The costs and benefits of the overall lifecycle associated with Transfoam PHB™ are comparable to other PHB processes, with improvements over current PHA and PLA manufacturing at the beginning of life; improvements over PLA during production and the end of life; and significant improvements over its petroleum-based alternatives throughout its entire lifecycle. The key benefits of our raw material choice and manufacturing process lie in the elimination of toxic chemicals, reduced reliance on large plots of fertile and coastal lands, high intra-process recyclability of water resources, and reduced EC. The most substantial costs of our manufacturing process lie in the GWP, ETP, and HTP currently associated with the required EC and disposal in traditional waste management facilities, and will be significantly reduced as industries can rely more heavily upon more renewable energy sources and responsible waste management options.