New Zealand meat-based bioplastics in commercial use by 2016


university of waikatoAduro Biopolymers, a natural resource materials and biopolymer company based in Hamilton, New Zealand, hopes to see its meat-based bioplastic, called Novatein, in commercial use by 2016 or 2017. The company, that is a spin-out of the University of Waikato, has announced it has secured investment from Wallace Corporation, by volume New Zealand’s largest service rendering business, processing a variety of co-products from the meat processing industry.

Aduro was formed to develop and market materials and biopolymers for use in the manufacturing sector and is currently developing a novel material based on an unconventional idea; turning bloodmeal into bioplastic.

“The company – says Graham Shortland, Ceo of Wallace Corporation – has developed an innovative method for the production of bioplastics made from by-products of the red meat and poultry industries. We’re always looking for innovative ways to turn new and existing raw materials into higher value products in order to sustainably deliver superior returns to our meat processing partners.”

Aduro Polymers aim is to develop environmentally conscious materials for the manufacturing and construction sectors. Novatein is its first product, a bioplastic that will be price competitive with petrochemical plastics. The global plastics market is worth over a trillion dollars and currently bioplastics represent 5-10% of that market, with a compounded annual growth rate of almost 20%.

“The manufacturing process for Novatein – says Darren Harpur, acting Ceo of the New Zealand company – is quite simple. This means the capital costs required to commence manufacture will be relatively low and should enable the cost effective production of Novatein. There is a growing demand for environmentally friendly plastics but they need to be at the right price point for consumers. We are confident we can achieve this price point with Novatein.”

The science behind Novatein originated and continues to be developed by the University of Waikato, where bloodmeal produced by the red meat industry is processed into granules which have been modified and optimised to suit a chosen product’s attributes. The granules can then be manufactured into injection moulded or extruded products using industry standard equipment. Novatein has been in development since 2007 and has received investment support from KiwiNet’s PreSeed Accelerator Fund from the Ministry of Science and Innovation.

Aduro Biopolymers is working with commercial partners in New Zealand and Australia to develop Novatein for a range of product lines. The company is also looking to work with New Zealand research organisations to develop new and novel materials from other natural resource polymers.

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