Advanced Molar Innovation Inc., a Wyoming-based intellectual property holding company, has announced the introduction of a kelp-based plastic replacement biopolymer that will, says CEO Jim McBurney, ‘degrade in soil at ambient temperatures in under 30 days’.
After years of preparatory work, the company, which has offices in the Silicon Valley California, has now been granted a patent -US 10662111- for its plastics replacement product from the US Patent Office.
The patent covers a broad range of (.5%-5%) formulations – and includes a double cross-linked process - of the widely available (brown kelp) based biopolymer (sodium alginate) in a mixture with aluminium oxide and fumed silicon. According to AMI, the aim is to reduce the emissions from petroleum-based plastics.
The company claims the material can replace a broad range of different plastic materials. “As such the technology has the potential to impact nearly every sector of industry”, says AMI.
However, the company has to date not released the results of the tests to back up its claims, nor has it yet sought certification.
Since AMI considers the exact formulation percentages and processes to be trade secrets, it intends to license resin and moulding machine manufacturers with secrecy provisions to keep the exact formula and processes protected from IP theft, said McBurney. He added that the licence terms and conditions will include a sub-licensee promise to offer biodegradable plastics replacements and ‘not just “sit on” the technology, as has happened with many historical disruptive technologies’.
As the material is also a fertilizer according to the company, AMI Inc. says it is seeking agricultural partners, farmers, fertilizer vendors and seed vendor partnerships so that the sodium alginate can be recycled into fertilizer material.
To determine support for their “Seaweed to Salad” brand of produce, the company intends to sub-license agricultural partners and grocery partners and to conduct two test markets in Fresno and Ft Wayne to test consumer reaction. The company’s research has so far indicated that many consumers would choose to pay more for a kelp-based formulation that degrades into fertiliser in agricultural applications. The company says it is setting up its own recycling system and will seek to enlist eco-minded persons to help meet this goal.