Aduro Biopolymers is currently developing the bioplastic using bloodmeal, which is used as a fertilizer and animal feed, to create plastics for the manufacturing sector.
The bioplastic, called Novatein, can be reformulated, modified and optimised to suit a particular products attributes and researchers have modified the colour of bloodmeal so the bioplastic is a translucent honey colour, said the firm.
Aduro Biopolymers is a spin-out company formed by WaikatoLink Limited, the technology transfer office of the University of Waikato.
Bloodmeal from red meat industry
The science behind Novatein was developed by the University of Waikato’s Dr Johan Verbeek and his team, 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.
Granules can then be manufactured into injection moulded or extruded products using industry standard equipment.
The firm recently secured investment from Wallace Corporation, which claims to be New Zealand’s largest service rendering business by volume, processing a variety of co-products from the meat processing industry.
Darren Harpur, acting CEO of Aduro Biopolymers, said: “The manufacturing process for Novatein 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.”
Harpur added that the bioplastic will help solve problems such as the effect of petrochemical plastics on the environment.
“We think that this aspect combined with a simple manufacturing process will enable our technology to be adopted quite rapidly.”
Aduro Polymers aim is to develop environmentally conscious materials for the manufacturing and construction sectors, with no plans as yet to move into the food packaging sector.
"Aduro Biopolymers has developed an innovative method for the production of bioplastics made from by-products of the red meat and poultry industries," said Graham Shortland, CEO of Wallace Corporation.
"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 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 partner with New Zealand research organisations to develop new and novel materials from other natural resource polymers.