Metabolix to Present Recent Advances in Barrier Coating Technology at PaperCon 2015

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., April 20, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Metabolix, Inc. (Nasdaq:MBLX), an advanced biomaterials company focused on sustainable solutions for the plastics industry, today announced that data will be presented highlighting research describing the properties of aqueous, biodegradable PHA barrier coatings in development for paper and cardboard applications. Metabolix Director of Extrusion Applications, Michael Andrews, Ph.D. will present the data tomorrow at PaperCon 2015, being held April 19-22 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA. PaperCon 2015 is organized by TAPPI, the leading association for the worldwide pulp, paper, packaging and converting industries.

Through a joint research program with the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center located in Natick, Mass., Metabolix has been focused on developing a biobased, Mirel® polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) based latex coating that can be used in paper coating processes to improve the moisture barrier and wet strength of paper articles used in the production of water resistant shipping containers and waste bags for naval vessels. The research shows that optimized drying and heating of the PHA coating results in significant moisture resistance, achieving 30 minute Cobb values less than 10 gsm. The results also show that the PHA coating produces good oil and grease resistance as determined using the Kit test. Furthermore, the use of optical and scanning electron microscopy showed that the aqueous coated samples closely resembled a melt-coated paper substrate with a continuous and homogenous coating. These results support further investigation of the potential to coat paper with the PHA latex on a continuous coating line to determine if similar moisture properties can be demonstrated.

"We believe there is significant need for innovative barrier coatings for paper and cardboard in packaging applications, and that the biobased nature and broad biodegradation profile of our Mirel PHA may represent a unique solution for this application space," said Max Senechal, Metabolix's vice president of strategy and commercial development. "Our research shows that our Mirel® PHA can provide moisture and grease resistance performance as a barrier coating. In addition, our PHA is compatible with composting or re-pulping to recycle paper and cardboard after use. We look forward to the opportunity to present our findings at PaperCon 2015 and to continue to advance development of our PHA technology and processes for barrier coatings."

Overview of Metabolix PaperCon 2015 Panel Presentation:

Title: "Properties of Aqueous PHA Barrier Coatings for Paper and Paperboard Applications"

Panel Session: Barrier Coatings

Time: Tuesday, April 21 at 10:30 a.m.

Michael Andrews, PhD., Director of Extrusion Applications of Metabolix, will present data showing:

  • An aqueous based latex coating material based on Metabolix PHA copolymer with D50 particle size of 1-3 microns and incorporating a non-ionic polymeric stabilizer
  • Testing of samples with paper coat weights ranging from 10-30g/m² indicated significant improvement in moisture and grease resistance
  • Microscopy investigations indicated that optimization of the drying conditions followed by heat treatment of the PHA latex coating resulted in a more uniform paper coating which produced better moisture resistance.

About Metabolix

Metabolix is an innovation-driven specialty materials company focused on delivering high-performance biopolymer solutions to customers in the plastics industry. Metabolix's Mirel® biopolymers, which are derived from renewable resources, are a family of biobased performance additives and resins based on PHA (polyhodroxyalkanoates). Metabolix's proprietary biotechnology platform enables the creation of resins and compounds for use in a broad range of applications such as construction and packaging materials as well as industrial, consumer and personal care products.

For more information, please visit

Safe Harbor for Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements which are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. The forward-looking statements in this release do not constitute guarantees of future performance. Investors are cautioned that statements in this press release which are not strictly historical statements, including, without limitation, statements regarding expectations for market demand and Metabolix product development, constitute forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated, including the risks and uncertainties detailed in Metabolix's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Metabolix assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking information contained in this press release or with respect to the announcements described herein.


CONTACT: Metabolix Contact: Lynne H. Brum, 617-682-4693, Media Inquiries: MSLGROUP Boston Caitlin Hunt at 781-684-0770

Source:Metabolix, Inc.