At the Cologne International Conference 2013 on Industrial Biotechnology and Bio-based Plastics & Composites, the Innovation Prize for Biomaterial of 2013 was awarded to PHA producer Newlight Technologies from the US.
First prize, Biomaterial of the Year 2013, was awarded to Newlight Technologies, LLC for its Airflex (AirCarbon) resins. CEO Mark Herrema presented a new kind of high-yield technology chain to produce thermoplastics (PHAs) from greenhouse gases such as CO2 and methane. Newlight is using the carbon capture and polymerization technology it has developed and patented to match the performance of a wide range of oil-based plastics while out-competing them on price.
If Newlight’s technical innovation can be put to wide use, then CO2-based PHAs are on the brink of an unexpected and wholly novel breakthrough, according to experts at the conference. Company representatives are already showing considerable interest in Newlight’s Airflex (AirCarbon) materials.
Mr Herrema received the trophy for first place in the Innovation Awards at the gala dinner from Uta Kühnen, representing the award’s sponsor Coperion. “In addition to the event itself, which was great, we were honored to win the Biomaterial of the Year award. Considering the many years of work it took to bring this material to market, my team was thrilled with the news.” He said.
The 6th International Conference on Industrial Biotechnology and Bio-based Plastics & Composites was held from April 10-12 in Cologne, Germany. The organizer, nova-Institute GmbH, said there were 180 participants from 23 countries attended the event, up 60% and 50% respectively compared to 2012.