STTR Phase II:Designing and Engineering Thermoplastic Starch BioFoam Materials for Protective Packaging Applications

Period of Performance: 01/01/2010 - 12/31/2010

$500K

Phase 2 STTR

Recipient Firm

KTM Industries
5597 West Grand River
Lansing, MI 48906
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

Michigan State University
Office of Sponsored Programs
East Lansing, MI 48824
Institution POC

Abstract

This Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase II project targets the design and engineering of biodegradable starch biofoam materials for protective cushion packaging and thermal insulation (coolers) market. These new biobased foam materials are expected to displace petro/fossil-based materials used currently in these applications. Previous feasibility demonstration has: (a) established the manufacturability of modified starch biofoams with good moisture resistance, strength, resilience and surface uniformity; and (b) validated the applicability of these biofoam materials in the protective cushion packaging and thermal insulation (coolers) market sectors by major industrial users. The Phase II project will build on these successes and develop robust and cost-effective manufacturing and optimized formulations for broader and greater penetration of the $2.6 billion foam packaging market. The technical advancements implied in this research are expected to significantly accelerate the development of a broader range of bio-plastic products based on bio/renewable feedstocks for successful commercial deployment.