NEW HAMPSHIRE COMPANY WINS $1.8 MILLION BIOMASS RESEARCH GRANT

November 12, 2009

(Washington, D.C.) - U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen announced today that Itaconix of Hampton Falls as been awarded $1,861,488 by the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Energy to research and develop technologies to produce clean, renewable energy. Itaconix will use the funding to develop a chemical compound derived from biomass wood pellets that will replace the petroleum-based chemicals used in products such as detergents and diapers.

"The emerging clean energy economy is a key component to economic recovery, and this grant will help spur innovations that can help create jobs in New Hampshire," said Shaheen. "This technology was developed in New Hampshire, and has great potential to invigorate the state's economy. We must continue to seek out new ways to use renewable resources, and fund research and development that will keep the U.S. competitive in the global marketplace."

The Itaconix compound uses New Hampshire's plentiful timber resources, and the grant will be used to develop production of the material. Specifically, the company will produce polyitaconic acid from northeast hardwood biomass, using an integrated extraction-fermentation-polymerization process. 

The grant is part of a $24.5 million project by the Departments of Agriculture and Energy to research and develop technologies to produce biofuels, bioenergy and high-value bio-based products. Advanced biofuels produced through this funding are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 percent.

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