Ithaca (NY) - Novomer, a new materials company that is pioneering a family of low-cost, high-performance, green plastics, polymers and other chemicals has begun selling its first product: NB-180 is an amorphous, colorless thermoplastic polymer (polypropylene carbonate) which decomposes into environmentally benign products making it an interesting product for applications in brazing and ceramics industries - as well as electronics manufacturing.
NB-180 is part of a product type called sacrificial binders. Sacrificial binders are used to bind two pieces of metal together in high precision product manufacturing for solar panels electronics, fuel cells, and nanomaterials. During the manufacturing process, the binder is burned off and the carbon dioxide is then released into the atmosphere.
Novomer’s technology is much more environmentally friendly then previous materials since the binder is created from almost 50% of recycled carbon dioxide. Novomer also claims that the binder burns away much cleaner than other binders. Fox Holt, product manager at Novomer, estimates that about 300,000 pounds of high precision binders are utilized each year.
Novomer utilizes a catalyst-based process to create its plastics and other materials using carbon dioxide. The technology to create NB-180 was developed by Geoffrey Coates and his research group at Cornell University.
While most plastics are made using fossil fuels, Novomer’s president Charles Hamilton told us that the company can replace 50% of its created material with substances like carbon dioxide. The company uses a variety of catalysts (mostly metals) to react with carbon dioxide to form the product.
Novomer is among a huge influx of companies aiming to make chemicals and plastics out of materials that are greener than the usual petroleum-based substances. Novomer is seeking to build partnerships and alliances with companies who produce CO2, like companies that manufacture concrete.