Newlight gains new patent for biogas-to-bioplastic process

By Newlight Technologies LLC | October 02, 2012

Newlight Technologies LLC recently announced that it has been awarded a seventh patent related to the conversion of greenhouse gases, such as waste methane and carbon dioxide, into biodegradable PHA plastics.  The new patent, U.S. Patent 8,263,373, joins Newlight's multi-layered and continually-expanding portfolio of intellectual property, which now includes seven U.S. and international patents and hundreds of additional filed patent claims.  The company's patent filings extend back to 2003.

"We are pleased to receive this seventh patent," sadi Newlight CEO Mark Herrema. "While the size of our patent portfolio is a testament to Newlight's pioneering inventions and nearly decade-long leadership in this field, we expect our patent portfolio to continue to grow at a rapid pace, particularly in the areas of new product applications and commercial-scale manufacturing systems." 

Newlight was founded in 2003 out of Princeton University and Northwestern University to convert greenhouse gas emissions into commercially useful materials.  Since the company's founding, Newlight has invented, patented, and commercialized a groundbreaking family of technologies to convert greenhouse gases, such as waste methane and carbon dioxide gas from wastewater treatment systems, anaerobic digesters, landfills, and energy facilities, into naturally biodegradable PHA-based plastics that can out-compete oil-based plastics on price and performance.

With almost a decade of multi-scale operations converting greenhouse gases into high-performance biodegradable plastics, Newlight has developed a deep and multi-layered patent portfolio covering the company's gas-to-plastic operations, including patented and patent-pending claims on:

  • Manufacturing biodegradable PHA-based plastics from greenhouse gases such as methane and carbon dioxide-based gases (including greenhouse gases from wastewater treatment plants, landfills, and energy facilities);
  • Producing, recycling, and regenerating greenhouse gas-based materials in a closed-loop sustainable system;
  • Converting waste methane and carbon dioxide-based gases into PHA-based biodegradable plastics in an auto-regulating, pressure-selection system at groundbreaking efficiencies;
  • Producing, operating, and regenerating the company's proprietary bio-based catalyst to enable the high-efficiency and cost-effective conversion of greenhouse gas into biodegradable plastic;
  • Greenhouse gas-based plastics made from the company's proprietary conversion systems and groundbreaking performance-enhancement processes;
  • Resin functionalization technologies used to overcome the classical performance limitations of PHA-based materials;
  • Product applications for the company's high-performance PHA-based plastics.

"Newlight has pioneered the field of applying biotechnology to convert greenhouse gases such as methane and carbon dioxide gases into high-performance biodegradable PHA plastics," said Newlight Chief Technology Officer Kenton Kimmel.  "As our production capacity and sales increase, we will continue to expand the size and scope of our intellectual property holdings, and this seventh patent is an important step on that path."