Thermoplastic films are everywhere from food packaging and agriculture to defense. To meet the demand for new products and greater functionality, layers are added to the film, which makes them thick and heavy, and increases the cost; however, manufacturers are always looking for ways to make it thinner and cheaper. High-barrier food packages, for example, integrate multiple layers – including one of aluminum foil — to prevent food deterioration due to oxidation, moisture, and UV penetration. Manufacturers of thermoplastic greenhouses add layers and ingredients that block infrared (IR) light from escaping to optimize growing conditions.
The market need and opportunity for improved thermoplastic films — thinner, stronger, greener — with added functionality is tremendous.
Valentis’ technology combines nanocrystalline cellulose (NCC), a biodegradable, transparent material made from plant pulp waste, with additional nanoparticles to produce highly improved polymeric films.
Incorporating different nanoparticles into Valentis’ composites adds new functionality (for example, piezoelectric or antibacterial properties) that can be tailored to specific applications and needs.
The Company’s first product is a coating for use in the food industry to create packaging material that is thinner, transparent, stronger, and provides a high barrier against UV rays, oxygen, and moisture.
NCC is coming into focus as a material of the future, projected to create a $600 billion industry by 2020 (U.S. National Science Foundation). The Valentis technology has enormous potential in multibillion-dollar markets, including food packaging, agriculture sheeting, antibacterial packaging, defense, home and garden, and transportation.
Coating platform for food packaging, agritech, and more
Stage: Technology development
Founded: November 2013
Investor: The Trendlines Group
IP: PCT March 2013, covering use of NCC as a carrier of nanoparticles on polymeric films
Achievements: Tested films showed added strength, spectral control, oxygen barrier
Embedded stem water potential sensor
Propellant-free dispensing technology
Multi-stall, automatic robotic milking system
Cloud-based, automated poultry feeding system
Natural, nontoxic insect control system for greenhouse crops
Reducing contamination from agrochemical use
All-in-one water treatment system for aquaculture