EcoSphere is in commercial use around the world; providing cost savings, price stability, quality, productivity and performance improvements in addition to environmental benefits. Our EcoSphere biolatex binder products are created using starches derived from annually renewable crop resources, such as corn, potatoes and tapioca.
EcoSphere is manufactured via our patented process into a powder, which retains equal or superior performance characteristics as the petroleum-based binders it replaces. EcoSphere biolatex binders can be created pre-dispersed in water or as a dry powder, allowing us to ship product at a fraction of the cost of liquid petroleum-based latex binders.
EcoSphere biolatex binders are a "Breakthrough Technology" for the paper coating industry. They are the first legitimate alternative to petroleum-based Styrene Butadiene (SB) latex binders for paper coatings- the chemicals that allow colourful graphics to "stick" to glossy paper used in magazines, books and packaging like cereal boxes.
In addition to paper coating, EcoSphere biolatex binders can effectively replace petroleum binders or "emulsion polymers" in a wide number of other industries.
(1) Source: Freedonia Market Report, 2011
Paints and coatings
Latex (or water-based) paints, exterior and interior architectural paints, industrial, maintenance and specialty coatings.
Paper and paperboard coatings
Low to high-end glossy paper used in the graphic arts, advertising and packaging industries.
General purpose adhesives in packaging applications including corrugated boxes, folded cartons and paper bags, pressure-sensitive adhesives used for tapes and labels, as well as consumer-oriented adhesives like white glue and wood glue.
Carpet backing used in the manufacture of tufted, broadloom carpeting, rugs and specialty floor coverings.
Textiles, used in the processing and finishing of fabrics and finished goods, sealants, caulks, printing inks and toners, shingles and dust palliatives.
A 67% lower footprint than petroleum-based emulsion polymers, such as Styrene Butadiene (SB) latex from "cradle to gate".
Manufacturing produces a dry powder instead of a liquid latex dispersion, drastically reducing product shipping costs.
- Nanoparticles form colloidal latex dispersions (as synthetic latex) allowing the delivery of high molecular weight polymers at low viscosity.
- Particle size distribution of the powder was optimized to provide the high bulk density required for packaging.
Significantly more stable than Styrene Butadiene (SB) latex, allowing for ease of use and flexible manufacturing conditions.
- Improved performance during paper coating, providing the customer with superior runnability.
- Less binder migration, quicker immobilization, more open coating structure, and smoother coating surfaces.
Replaces Styrene Butadiene (SB) and Styrene Acrylate (SA) petroleum emulsion polymers on a 1:1 basis.
The smaller particle size characteristic of biolatex binders results in increased binder strength and performance. In coated paper, it provides improved aesthetics; a rich, bright finish; enhanced open structure and excellent printability across all grades.
Our binder technology demonstrates parallel performance for important paper properties such as coating gloss, brightness, whiteness, fluorescence, ink gloss and printability, while providing superior performance to SB and SA Latex for water retention, opacity, dry pick, print mottle, porosity (blister resistance) and paper stiffness.
The first generation of EcoSphere biolatex product provides viable means of replacing a significant portion of their petroleum-based binders at a lower cost without sacrificing performance.
The recent price of oil has fluctuated wildly. With rising prices, suppliers of petroleum-based binders are faced with increasing raw material cost. This provides additional impetus and urgency to search for alternative binder technologies.
Natural feedstocks can be used in our technology platform interchangeably without alteration to our equipment or processes. Our current primary starch-based feedstock is corn because of its existing infrastructure, commodity markets and strong agricultural base. Our ability to readily substitute the feedstock source from multiple suppliers based on local and global supply/demand balance allows us significant flexibility.
Renewable sources of feedstock can be obtained in abundance at a low and relatively stable cost compared to petroleum. Sensitivity analyses show that our bio-based products are less susceptible to fluctuations in the price of corn than petroleum-based products are in response to a fluctuation in the price of oil.
Industry wide impact
Millions of metric tons in CO2 reductions due to other benefits, including:
Higher solids content results in lower drying times (which represent a large part of energy consumption in coated paper and board production) and better coating performance.
Increased stiffness allows for the use of less coating material for equal performance, and contributes to superior durability and resistance to wear.
Avoiding the need to ship ~50% water means that more product can be shipped at a lower tonnage and cost.
No chemical interference or "white pitch" is observed when recycling biolatex coated paper and board products.
Reducing C02 Emissions
Each pound of biolatex binder substituted for SB and SA Latex creates a reduction of 3.3 pounds of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
• A 40% substitution level industry-wide would reduce CO2 emissions by 2.5 million metric tons (equivalent to 650,000 cars off the road).
Carbon Tax Credits
Substantial carbon credit benefits are passed on to customers, as our products demonstrate a lower carbon footprint throughout their entire life cycle.