Biopolymer manufacturer Danimer Scientific has received funding to expand its research into high-oleic soyabean oil (HOSO) as a base for biodegradable plastics, Biomarket Insights reported on 14 September.

The US$400,000 grant from the United Soybean Board followed the group’s year-long collaboration with the organisation to develop an effective model using HOSO feedstock to make Danimer’s biopolymer Nodax, the report said.

Nomax is used as a plastic alternative in products ranging from bottles to flexible film, according to the report.

The second year of the project would look at scaling up this model to commercial levels, Biomarket Insights wrote.

“The first year of our research has produced excellent results that show HOSO is a viable feedstock in the manufacture of Nodax,” Carol Leggett, PhD, director of microbiology at Danimer, was quoted as saying.

“As we continue to expand the commercial production of Nodax, HOSO is expected to serve as a valuable tool to strengthen our supply chain and bottom line.”

The team currently produced its Nodax product at commercial scale at a new site in Winchester, Kentucky, the report said.

An exclusively US-grown crop, high-oleic soyabeans had been identified by the United Soybean Board as “positioning the US soya industry into the future”, Biomarket Insights wrote.

The oil derived from the crop performed under high-heat conditions and when applied to food, improved functionality and shelf life, according to the report.

“HOSO is readily available material in the United States, likely making it a viable and cost-effective feedstock in the production of Nodax,” Danimer’s chief science and technology officer Phil Van Trump said.

The project was also carried out with the collaboration of Omni Tech International and SmithBucklin and United Soybean Board farmer members, the report said.