Thanks to the efforts of a Hawai‘i Natural Energy Institute researcher, the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa has signed an exclusive global research contract with Bio-On, an Italian intellectual property company, representing a $1.4 million investment.
Dr. Jian Yu’s research focuses on new technologies to produce bioplastics from inexpensive feedstocks such as wood chips, agricultural residues and domestic wastes. The bioplastics can be molded and shaped like oil-based plastics, but are completely degraded into benign products (carbon dioxide and water) in the environment. The research will also make the bioplastics more ductile for broader applications such as films and fibers.
For that purpose, Bio-On has invested $1.6 million over the past seven years into the research, and will invest the additional $1.4 million to continue Dr. Yu’s research. UH has given the company exclusive global license of two patents for production of bioplastics from domestic waste.
“I am glad to have this new research support from Bio-On, which is based on successful cooperation in multiple projects over the past seven years,” said Dr. Yu. “The new project shall promote our research on environmentally friendly bioplastics for a sustainable society.”