28 August 2015

TerraVerdae Achieves Commercial Pilot-Scale Production for PHA Biomaterials

Develops commercially viable production process supported by Innovate UK grant

TerraVerdae BioWorks, an industrial biotechnology company developing advanced bioplastics and environmentally sustainable biomaterials, today announced that it has successfully achieved key milestones for the economic, commercial production for its line of PHA-based biomaterials. These include 10,000 litre production runs of the firm’s line of biodegradable, natural microspheres for use in personal care and cosmetic products, as a direct replacement for synthetic, non-degradable plastic microbeads.

Supported by a grant from Innovate UK, and in collaboration with researchers at facilities in the UK’s Centre for Process Innovation, TerraVerdae has successfully scaled-up its biodegradable and biocompatible materials technology from laboratory pilot scale to 10,000+ litre capabilities, validating process scale up and production economics for commercial deployment.

“Developing the technologies needed to produce commercial scale quantities of our biomaterial products in an economic and efficient process is a milestone for the company, and potentially the industry,” said William Bardosh, CEO and founder of TerraVerdae BioWorks. “Our first product developed using this technology, biodegradable and biocompatible microspheres to replace synthetic microbeads in personal care products, addresses a strong global need to remove plastic contamination from water supplies.”

“Innovate UK is excited to fund this ambitious and complex project that achieved its final goal of running a large-scale fermentation at the High Value Manufacturing Catapult’s National Industrial Biotechnology Facility,” said Merlin Goldman, Lead Technologist – High Value Manufacturing at Innovate UK. “TerraVerdae produced significant quantities of purified PHA material for product testing with partners and other potential customers. We hope to see the company complete its ambition of building a biorefinery facility in the North East of the UK.”

“We are also fortunate to have collaborated on this technology with the UK’s Centre for Process Innovation,” continued Bardosh. “They are one of the world’s leading facilities for process innovation in the industrial bioprocess arena and their support has been invaluable.”

“The project with TerraVerdae has been a great opportunity for us to collaborate with a pioneer in the industry,” said Pete Carney, Business Development Manager at The Centre for Process Innovation. “CPI has used its bioprocessing scale up expertise to take the process from lab scale to commercialization.’’

TerraVerdae’s natural microspheres are a PHA-based biomaterial produced using a non-GMO, non-toxic, plant-associated process. TerraVerdae’s microspheres are intrinsically biocompatible and meet industry standards for biodegradation in a marine environment. TerraVerdae can produce microspheres in a range of sizes, in both smooth and coarse finishes, that feature high optical clarity and the mechanical characteristics to meet all requirements for cosmetic formulations.

 

About Innovate UK

Innovate UK is the UK’s innovation agency. Its role is to fund, support and connect innovative British businesses through a unique mix of people and programmes to accelerate sustainable economic growth.

About The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI)

CPI is a UK-based technology innovation centre that uses applied knowledge in science and engineering combined with state of the art facilities to enable our clients to develop, prove, prototype and scale up the next generation of products and processes.

About TerraVerdae BioWorks

TerraVerdae BioWorks develops biodegradable bioplastics, biobased chemicals, and bioactives from environmentally sustainable, single carbon (C1) feedstocks. TerraVerdae’s industrial biorefinery platform combines systems biology, bioprocess engineering, and polymer chemistry capabilities to produce high-value, performance biomaterials. These products have applications in the agriculture/horticulture, personal care, dietary supplement, and associated markets. TerraVerdae’s synthetic biology platform and proprietary genetic tools have developed biobased products and challenging proteins for companies and institutes worldwide.

TerraVerdae BioWorks is headquartered in Canada with operations in the US and the UK.

Source: TerraVerdae Bioworks, press release, 2015-08-24.

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