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I’ve never understood why biofuels get so much more attention than the sister biz of bioplastics — blending agricultural waste and other bioproducts into plastic materials is a massive, relatively untapped market. Investors in Novomer, a startup that uses recycled carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide to […]

I’ve never understood why biofuels get so much more attention than the sister biz of bioplastics — blending agricultural waste and other bioproducts into plastic materials is a massive, relatively untapped market. Investors in Novomer, a startup that uses recycled carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide to make polymers and plastics, clearly agree, though they seem to see pollution as a winning feedstock. The company is expected to announce on Wednesday that it’s raised a $14 million Series B round of funding from OVP Venture Partners and including Physic Venture Partners, Flagship Venture Partners and DSM Venturing.

This latest round brings the Boston-based company’s total to $21 million, and Novomer says it will be used to prepare for “broad commercialization.” The company already sells a modest amount of a product called “NB-180,” which is about half carbon dioxide. It’s what industrial manufacturers call a “sacrificial binder,” meaning the product is used to hold two pieces of metal together during the high-precision manufacturing of products like electronics, fuel cells, nanomaterials and solar panels. In the manufacturing process the binder is burned away and the carbon dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere.

The greener aspect of Novomer’s binder is that it’s made of recycled carbon dioxide, and Novomer says it also burns cleaner than other binders. Still, the high-precision sacrificial binder biz is relatively small — about 300,000 pounds per year, the company estimates — and Novomer is also developing other products.

The company’s innovation is the catalyst-based process that create the plastics and other materials out of carbon dioxide and monoxide pollution. The technology was developed by Professor Geoffrey Coates and his research group at Cornell University. While the intellectual property might be strong, clearly one of the big issues, as it is with all biofuels and green plastics, is scale. To address that, Novomer is looking to build partnerships with companies that produce the CO2, like a concrete manufacturer or power company.

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By Katie Fehrenbacher

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  2. The next natural downturn in our cyclic economy hides in its troughs the greatest depression ever known and in combination with an almost worthless dollar will mold American demands, curb large appetites for oil, which will go to Asians as they expand exponentially, even in population, and Americans will be thankful for “Home-Grown” plastics recipes that are oil free, and fuels we can make here on this continent too! In a single decade, this one, convulsive, soul-busting paradigm shifts will occur – they have already started, GM(America) bankrupt, GM(China) 30% profits! Halliburton(Dubai) hi-jacked American military forces to Afghanistan in mercenary capacity, to clear safe passage for an OPEC owned, operated pipeline to Turkmenistan! Glut of Asian built cars on American roads in the last few years, Factories closing, jobs disappearing, whole industries moving to Asian countries, line ups of “Unemployable Legacy Workers” from Asian capital flight and reinvestment in Asian market places, super-factories, converted to Yuan, while the dollar goes into free fall, 401K’s erode to nothing, and severe inflation threatens! Foreclosures of American’s homes, foreclosed homes sold at less than ten cents on the dollar by banks! Do you realize: We no longer make the “Merry Oldsmobile”, Pontiac’s ! These are the harbingers of the really big changes coming soon to America! When our dollar’s value can no longer command 80% of the world’s resources, and the Yuan can, it is all over for the American Dream, and life as we know it! America we are broke, in debt, and have been sold out to the Beijing, Shanghai, and Hang Seng stock markets and the Yuan! It is simply a matter of time now. green plastics for body bags, bio-fuel to run the ambulances, done.

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