Life Cycle For PFA/PHFA*

The Gatoresin® lifecycle begins with inedible crop residue— waste, which is extracted to yield ferulic acid. Polymerization yields polyferulic acid and/or copolymers, which are polyester mimics of PET. Water-degradation or biodegradation regenerates ferulic acid, an anti-oxidant abundant in today’s highly acclaimed superfoods. Normal metabolic processes convert this to carbon dioxide, the photosynthetic feedstock for all plants.

*LCA is not a certified life cycle analysis. 

Gatoresin® Is 100% Sustainable

Sustainable efforts are those that meet basic human needs without destroying nature, degrading the environment, or impinging on the ability of future generations to accomplish the same. Gatoresin® is designed to be fully sustainable and enjoy a truly green birth and green death.

Throughout the 20th century, commodity thermoplastics were almost exclusively derived from non-renewable fossil fuels and the industry has been driven by two main factors: cost and utility.

In the 21st century, however, there has been a strong push for a more responsible and holistic approach to plastics—an approach that includes a greater emphasis on the sources from which plastics are derived, as well as the ultimate fate of the materials after their useful lifetime is exhausted. In other words, modern sustainable plastics of the 21st century and beyond must be considered in terms of a green birth, a functional and effective life, and a green death. (See: Martin, R. T.; Camargo, L. P.; Miller, S. A. Green Chem. 2014, 16, 1768–1773. http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/C3GC42604A)

Gatoresin® is unique because it exploits one of the most abundant, accessible, scalable, and potentially inexpensive biorenewable feedstocks, ferulic acid. This feedstock makes up 0.5% of sugarcane, the world’s largest crop at 1.8 trillion kilograms per year. From a single sugarcane facility in south Florida, >30 million kg/year of Gatoresin® can be produced. Equally substantial, ferulic acid can be derived from corn stover, sugar beets, and many other organic sources.

Gatoresin® Offers Superior Thermal Properties

Gatoresin® has vastly improved thermal properties, making it a viable alternative to polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polystyrene (PS), polycarbonate (PC), polyethylene (PE), and polylactic acid (PLA). Although PLA (from cornstarch) is considered a green polymer, Gatoresin® is the only one of these that is both sustainable and has a broad, useful temperature range. PLA has a meager glass transition temperature of 55°C, whereas that of Gatoresin® is tunable from 73°C to 155°C. (See: http://www.soci.org/Chemistry-and-Industry/CnI-Data/2013/7/Degradable-Biopolymers)

The traditional plastics are 100% derived from finite fossil fuels, but Gatoresin® is 100% derived from renewable biomass. Moreover, PET, PS, PC, and PE degrade very slowly in the natural environment, likely on the timescale of millennia. Not only is Gatoresin® designed to degrade within a much shorter timescale (years to decades), it degrades into healthful antioxidants already abundant in nearly every plant—not organic chemicals alien to the biosphere.

Biorenewable polyethylene terephthalate mimic—Green Chemistry