By Michael Lauzon, Plastics News Correspondent
Brampton, Ontario - Valle Foam Industries Inc. is getting a financial nudge to help it commercialise polyurethane foams using naturally derived polyols.
The Brampton, Ontario, firm will receive C$500 000 ($510 000) to promote its BioPlush product line. The grant comes from the Ontario BioAuto Council of Guelph, Ontario.
Valle Foam has run trials and has begun selling BioPlus foam to the furniture sector, said Dale McNeill, vice president of operations, in a 28 Feb telephone interview.
"We're also looking at mattresses and bedding," McNeill said.
Overall, Valle Foam is committed to replacing up to 25 percent of petroleum-based polyols with the naturally derived types.
BioPlush uses polyols derived from seeds such as soybeans. Valle Foam replaces petroleum-derived polyols such as polypropylene glycol with the naturally derived alternatives, McNeill explained. He said his firm buys the naturally based polyols from suppliers such as Cargill lnc.
Valle Foam's other markets include packaging, carpet and children's toys.
"Valle Foam has always considered the environment in its business decisions and our new bio-based foam is an extension of that dedication," McNeilll said in a news release.
Bio-based foams are a growing market as consumers hope to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, according to the BioAuto Council. Bio-based alternative foams offer equal or better functionality, the agency claims.
Growing bio-foam markets mean "new opportunities for Ontario companies and the province's natural resource sectors," stated Ontario BioAuto Council Chief Executive Officer Craig Crawford in a news release.
Privately held Valle Foam employs more than 300 in the Brampton area. Domfoam International Inc. of Saint-Léonard, Quebec and A-Z Sponge & Foam Products Ltd. of Delta, British Columbia, are affiliated companies.
The BioAuto Council is a nonprofit organisation linking Ontario's agriculture and forestry industries to chemical and plastic makers and to advanced manufacturers to develop products using biological feedstocks. Its first grant was to GreenCore Composites Inc. of Toronto to develop cellulosic fibre composites.