R&D and Innovations

Bioplastics Startups Graduate at BASF Circularity Challenge

Micro-engineered bioplastics. An additive that allows different plastics to be compatible with one another. A new way to recycle lithium-ion batteries.

These are a handful of the ideas underpinning the startups that graduated Thursday from the Circularity Challenge, a six-month incubator in Greentown Labs, one of the largest cleantech incubators in North America.

Each business had the opportunity to present before a crowd as part of the Circularity Challenge Final Showcase, a night of pitching and networking in Somerville’s Union Square.

The Circularity Challenge developed as a partnership between Greentown Labs and BASF, a major producer and marketer of chemicals and related products.

For six months, five startups participated in an accelerator program within Greentown Labs’ Somerville facility, working on disrupting the plastics, energy storage and recycling value chains to enable a circular economy.

The urgency of the challenge at hand was underscored before the startups could even begin their pitches.

“For us, circularity is an essential element of an economy that is both financially healthy and environmentally sensitive to the only planet we have,” Greentown Labs executive vice president and general counsel Ryan Dings said in his opening remarks.

Bernhard von Vacano, head of global scouting and incubation at BASF, agreed: In order to head off climate change, keep plastics out of our oceans and reduce environmental waste, disruption needs to take place at the supply-chain level.

“Circularity is at the core of transforming the way value chains work,” he said in an interview with BostInno after the event. “To create a more sustainable economy, you have to go away from being inefficient and wasting energy and resources. You have to close these loops, which poses a lot of challenges—and a lot of challenges we cannot solve alone.”

To von Vacano, that’s where startups can come in. Although the Circularity Challenge concluded with Thursday’s showcase, BASF will continue to work with the participating businesses in various capacities.

Read more about the startups below. Descriptions provided by Greentown Labs.

Corumat, based in California, is a materials science company on a mission to eliminate plastic waste and fight climate change. Corumat uses materials science to micro-engineer bioplastics to make lighter, stronger, cheaper products.

Nexus Fuels, based in Georgia, is an operational, commercially scaled, 50-ton-per-day plant converting waste plastics to feedstocks, which in turn can be converted back to virgin plastics through molecular recycling.

Circularise, based in The Hague, Netherlands, is a blockchain transparency solution with a patent-pending “smart questioning” technology that guarantees proof of sustainability, circular economy and recycling practices for brands and manufacturers that aim for high sustainability standards and want to avoid greenwashing.

Interface Polymers, based in Loughborough, England, is working to become the global leader in compatibility and surface functionality solutions for the polyolefin industry. Its unique Polarfin additives offer the plastics industry worldwide the ability to transform performance and cost-competitiveness in any market application where interfacial compatibility or surface properties are important

American Battery Metals Corporation, based in Nevada, is an American-owned company that is meeting the global battery metals supply chain challenges with innovative, environmentally sustainable solutions. The company’s vertical strategies leverage its exploration and mining operations with self-supporting extraction and battery recycling divisions.

 

Greentown labs bioplastics

 

 

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Published on americaninno.com

Meet the Startups in Greentown Labs’ Circularity Challenge

 

 

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