Lygos, UMass partner to expand bio-malonic acid applications

March 1, 2019 |

In California, Lygos announced a new partnership with the Center for University of Massachusetts-Industry Research on Polymers (CUMIRP), the nation’s oldest National Science Foundation Industry / University Cooperative Research Center dedicated to polymer research. The partnership aims to develop novel high-value applications for the company’s Bio-Malonic Acid product family, which includes the derivatives diethyl and dimethyl malonates. By elucidating how the underlying microstructures of cross-linked polymer systems are enabled by malonates, the collaboration endeavors to identify new formulations that will result in high-value, stable and sustainable materials, such as impact-absorbing foams, composites and durable coatings. These polymers are currently produced using petrochemical-based processes that are not only toxic to the environment but also represent a health risk to workers and end-users.

This research collaboration will characterize polymer microstructures using novel artificial intelligence and machine learning-based approaches to elucidate structure-property relationships for disordered crosslinked systems. Despite an abundance of data on crosslinked polymer systems, the knowledge of how to achieve the ideal balance of chain extension and crosslinking for optimizing performance in specific applications is still lacking. This collaboration will explore the application of malonates with multiple reactivities and variable hydrophilicity in crosslinked systems including foams, coatings, adhesives, and films that are critical to many industries including healthcare and consumer goods.

“Our Bio-Malonic Acid products provide a cost-effective and sustainable alternative for producing high-performing polymers that can be used for many large industrial and consumer markets,” said Johan van Walsem, Chief Operations Officer of Lygos. “Together with Professors Bermudez and Hsu and their team at the University of Massachusetts, we aim to produce various high-value, thermally stable polymer systems that can eventually replace harmful petro-based processes, reclaim local manufacturing, revive industrial innovation, and revitalize the circular economy.”

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