Novomer Unveils CO2-Based Polymer

Novomer Unveils CO2-Based Polymer

Cornell University spin-off Novomer unveiled its first product this week, a renewable polymer that degrades completely and is derived from renewable carbon-based feedstocks.

The polymer, NB-180, is a sacrificial binder made for high-performance industrial and commercial applications, such as electronics, fuel cells and ceramics. The binder burns off after serving as an adhesive, but it burns clean and leaves little ash residue. It decomposes at temperatures lower than that of other polymers.

"We believe that NB-180 is the cleanest-burning binder available, and demand is very strong for these types of materials in clean-room technologies," Fox Holt, Novomer's product manager, said in a statement. "As products become smaller and smaller, manufacturing processes become increasingly exact. NB-180 can help deliver the precision required in these critical operations."

NB-180 is made using a catalyst process that produces polymers and plastics from greenhouse gases rather than petroleum. By weight, NB-180 contains more than 40 percent carbon dioxide by weight.

Novomer isn't the first player in the area: Empower Materials makes a family of thermoplastics made from 50 percent carbon dioxide. And carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas most closely associated with climate change, is also finding new life in other applications.

HR BioPetroleum Inc. of Hawaii, for instance, which recently joined Royal Dutch Shell to develop transform algae into an alternative fuel, plans to begin operating commercial algae facilities that will convert CO2 emissions from power plants into feedstocks for biofuels.