SOURCE: Novomer


January 17, 2012 10:51 ET

Novomer and Penford Enter Into Joint Development Agreement

Novomer and Penford Will Partner to Drive Development and Commercialization of Innovative Sustainable Packaging Materials

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - Jan 17, 2012) - Novomer Inc., a new materials company pioneering a family of high-performance plastics and polymers using renewable feedstocks such as carbon dioxide, and Penford Corporation, a company with significant business and expertise in specialty starches and sustainable bio-products, today announced that they have entered into a Joint Development Agreement that will leverage the two companies' core technologies and expertise.

The new alliance was created to accelerate the development and commercialization of innovative Starch-Polypropylene Carbonate polymer composites. Although its use has been limited due to inherent performance characteristics, starch, comprised of plant-based, biodegradable polymers, has long been targeted as a cost effective, renewable material for a broad range of packaging applications. When modified, starch can be compatible with other polymers to extend the use and modify the properties of those polymers for targeted uses. Polypropylene Carbonate (PPC), a thermoplastic polymer composed of nearly 50% by weight of waste CO2, has superior mechanical and barrier properties, and a chemical backbone that is compatible and likely synergistic with modified starch. It is anticipated that the creation of starch-PPC composites will yield low cost, environmentally sustainable packaging polymers suitable for the multi-billion dollar global packaging materials market.

"Governments and companies, especially those in packaged goods markets around the globe, continue to place a heavy emphasis on initiatives aimed at reducing carbon levels in the atmosphere and creating alternatives to petroleum based plastics," said Peter Shepard, Executive Vice President of Novomer. "We believe that the combination of Novomer's extensive PPC technology with Penford's lower cost, renewable starch products will create truly novel and cost effective packaging materials and a new avenue to address these market needs."

"This is an exciting opportunity to further expand our efforts to develop and commercialize cost effective, sustainable bio-products," said Penford's Director of Business Development, Michael Friesema. Adding to this, Dr. Wallace Kunerth, Penford's Chief Science Officer, said, "Novomer's expertise in sustainable polymers combined with Penford's expertise in specialty starch based formulations provide an opportunity to create highly-functional, cost-effective, and renewable thermoplastics to extend or replace petroleum-based plastics in barrier films and structured articles."

About Novomer
Novomer ( is a revolutionary new materials company pioneering a family of low-cost, high-performance, sustainable plastics, polymers and other chemicals. Based on the pioneering catalyst work of Dr. Geoff Coates at Cornell University, Novomer's groundbreaking technology allows carbon dioxide and other renewable feedstocks to be cost-effectively transformed into polymers, plastics and commodity chemicals for a wide variety of industrial markets. The company is partnered with equity investors Flagship Ventures, Physic Ventures, OVP Venture Partners and DSM Venturing and has received significant financial support from the U.S. Department of Energy, National Science Foundation and the State of New York.

About Penford
Penford Corporation is a publicly traded company (NASDAQ: PENX) ( that develops, manufactures and markets specialty ingredients for a variety of industrial and food applications. Products include a broad line of modified starches for paper and packaging, biofuels, sustainable bio-products to displace petroleum-based chemicals and specialty food ingredients. Penford has seven manufacturing and/or research locations in the United States.

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