EcoSynthetix and WIN to develop new bio-based materials

Renewable chemicals would replace petroleum-based products.

BURLINGTON, Ont. — EcoSynthetix Inc. and the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology (WIN) at the University of Waterloo are collaborating on new applications for bio-based materials as an alternative to petroleum-based products.

EcoSynthetix Inc., a renewable chemicals company based in Burlington, Ont., said the industrial partnership will explore new applications for its EcoSphere binders made from starches derived from renewable crop resources, such as corn, potatoes and tapioca.

The five-year agreement will be jointly funded through an EcoSynthetix and National Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Collaborative Research and Development Grant.

The company said the University of Waterloo will add its expertise in macromolecular science to the “sustainability benefits” of the company’s EcoSphere bio-based nanoparticles.

The project goal is to broaden the scientific knowledge base of the technology to support its introduction into new application areas. The project team, which involves four professors and eight graduate students at the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology, will be chemically modifying the nanoparticles, then characterizing how the properties of the novel particles are affected by these changes.

“Nanotechnology is a leading-edge, enabling technology that holds the promise of a lasting economic benefit for jobs and investment in the materials, energy and healthcare sectors. EcoSynthetix’s innovative nanotechnology has the potential to impact a wide-array of markets that would benefit from a sustainable alternative to petroleum-based products,” said Arthur Carty, executive director of the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology and an independent director of the board of EcoSynthetix.

EcoSphere technology is presently used for biobased latex products that are alternatives to petroleum-based binders in the coated paper and paperboard market.