The partnership will use Danimer Scientific’s Nodax PHA, its biodegradable biopolymer, to manufacture recyclable paper and board products


Kemira's head office in Ruoholahti, Helsinki, Finland. (Credit: J-P Kärnä/Wikipedia.)

Danimer Scientific, a developer of biodegradable materials, has partnered with Kemira, a sustainable chemical solutions firm, to develop biodegradable aqueous barrier coatings for sustainable paper and board products.

Under the partnership, the companies intend to manufacture biobased barrier coatings for limited commercial applications in 2021, with plans to explore wider production options.

Kemira Pulp&Paper global product lines and business development SVP Antti Matula said: “Evaluating PHA is one step in realizing our biobased strategy to deliver high quality, sustainable and circular packaging solutions. Sustainability is one of the main drivers of Kemira’s long-term growth.

“We are dedicated to our customer’s success as we increase the value of their end-products. This partnership with Danimer Scientific will bring new biobased and circular products to markets and is an important milestone in reaching our biobased growth targets.”

According to Danimer Scientific, coatings on paper or board products, such as coffee cups, are used as a barrier to prevent the moisture and grease from leaking through the product material.

With the increase in demand for sustainable paper and board products, the coating and surface treatment are designed to ensure that paper and board items are fully biodegradable in soil and water.

Danimer Scientific said that Nodax polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA), its biopolymer material, is completely biobased, as it is renewably sourced from the seeds of canola and soy plants.

The company said that the paper and board products, coated with fossil fuel-based polyethylene would impact the recyclability of the products and result in the accumulation of plastic waste.

Danimer Scientific business development senior vice president John Moore said: “PHA is a proven biodegradable alternative to fossil fuel-based materials.

“Partnering with Kemira will enable us to expand to paper applications, delivering a repulpable and biodegradable material without sacrificing the product quality that brands and consumers expect.”

In October this year, Danimer Scientific has agreed to merge its business with Live Oak Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company, and a public company.