Startup steps up to commercialize biobased acrylics

November 10, 2021 |

In Illinois, a startup has officially launched using catalyst technology developed by the University of Minnesota that converts corn-derived lactic acid into acrylics. 

Called Låkril Technologies, the company says the technology cuts carbon dioxide emissions by 35% compared to petroleum-based acrylics and is also cost-competitive.

“Bio-based acrylics have long been sought by producers and end users, but routes leading to cost parity at scale with today’s petrochemicals have not been found before this discovery,” Låkril Technologies president Chris Nicholas says in a statement. “Our thermochemical technology provides outstanding yields of bio-based based acrylics from lactic acid allowing us to achieve competitive economics with petroleum-based products.” 

The catalyst was invented at the University of Minnesota in the lab of Paul Dauenhauer, Professor and MacArthur Fellow. Dauenhauer’s lab received funding from NSF Center for Sustainable Polymers, a National Science Foundation Center for Chemical Innovation focused on sustainable polymer research.  Låkril Technologies has already secured $200,000 in research funding from the Minnesota Corn Research and Promotion Council and the Indiana Corn Marketing Council to advance commercialization. 

The acrylics can be used in paints, coatings, adhesives and other polymers. 

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Category: Chemicals & Materials

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