This technology is a new approach for producing biodegradable plastic that overcomes some prior limitation inherent in the use of Polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB). PHB is a desirable material because of its high crytallinity and water resistance. Crytallinity is when chains pack closely together in a regular way allowing stronger intermolecular forces. The polymer is less flexible and stronger as a result. The current technology addresses the inflexibility (brittleness) and thermal instability of PHB through the incorporation of high modulus fillers (clay). Applications: The primary target market for the technology is the replacement of toughened polyolefins automobile parts and similar structural applications. IP Protection Status: Covered by U.S. patent 7420011
(1) Improved flexibility: Toughness and impact strength of PHB are improved without compromising its inherent stiffness and strength. (2) Low cost: The toughened polymer composition is relatively inexpensive and easy to manufacture.