Federal loan guarantees may be required to move some new bioplastics ventures from the lab to commercial reality. An article in the Wall Street Journal says that Micromidas, a California company that make plastics from raw sewage is having trouble finding $10 million in capital required to build a plant.
Novomer, a Cornell spinoff that converts industrial carbon dioxide into plastics, needs a $100 million cash infusion to move from pilot scale to commercialization.
Coming to the rescue could be a five-year-old U.S. Department of Energy loan-guarantee program for new environmentally friendly technologies. The program is expected to shift its focus in 2011 from solar and wind projects to less-developed enterprises.
Meanwhile, a corporate funded program to convert industrial wastewater to plastics seems to be gaining traction in Sweden.