Renewable Bioplastic Feedstock Sourcing
PHA belongs to a type of polyesters called polyhydroxyalkanoates, carbon-based compounds that are created by naturally regenerating Ralstonia Eutrophamicroorganisms when they ferment organically sourced oils, or “esters.” Danimer Scientific obtains affordable plant-based oils to produce the fatty acid feedstock for these microbes. Many types of seed oils can also be supplied to the bacteria (unmixed), including soy and palm.
In stark contrast to the toxic manufacturing methods used to make petro-plastics, Danimer Scientific PHA bioplastics occur naturally in the cell walls of the R. Eutropha bacteria during fermentation. To maintain its biocompatible qualities, Danimer Scientific harvests the PHA without the use of harmful solvents or chemicals.
Microorganism Fermentation Achieves Global Scale Capabilities
Danimer Scientific begins the PHA production process using proprietary occurring soil borne bacteria, cultivated in a canola oil based nutrient environment, wherein the organisms naturally manufacture PHA in their cell walls through biosynthesis. Through proprietary manipulations of the nutrient environment and extremely controlled and optimized calculations, Danimer Scientific technologists produce quantities ranging from half a liter to 10 liters in the R&D lab, to multiple tanks with the capacity range of 20,000 liters to 45,000 and up to 130,000 liters in the manufacturing plant. In late March 2014, Tate & Lyle validated the replication of the proprietary process, bringing the promise of biosynthesis to fill global demand.
Non-Solvent Water Extraction Produces Toxin-Free Bioplastic
To extract PHA from the cell walls of the cultivated microorganisms, Danimer Scientific uses a patented non-solvent, water-based extraction process wherein the PHA separates from the other biomass and is filtered, lysed and centrifuged to isolate the final mcl-PHA product. The process is clean and uses no toxic chemicals. The resulting substance is then dried, producing the clean white powder ready to be pelletized for customer use in the marketplace. The absence of toxicity is one of the qualities which make Danimer Scientific PHA particularly appealing as a biopolymer for food contact and medical purposes.
Reactive Extrusion Generates Customized PHA Feedstock
Danimer Scientific creates customized mixtures of PHA bioplastic feedstock, tailored to the needs of plastic product and packaging manufacturers. Different physical properties required of the end product define the mixture, which is then processed through reactive extrusion, a proprietary, patented procedure that yields made-to-order, pelleted resin. Bioplastic customization is unique to Danimer Scientific, and makes their PHA feedstock highly competitive, due to the affordable price point and targeted applications in the global marketplace.