PHLburg Technologies, Inc.

Chemistry

Alkaline Stable Liquid Detergent Systems with Peroxide

Fermented Food Products

Enzyme Teams

Hydrophobic Coatings

Booster Additives for Liquid Detergents

Thermoplastic elastomers

Catalysts For Bleaching Systems in Solid Detergents

Aerosol
 
Glass

Polyunsaturated Lipid Autoxidation

Alkaline stable liquid detergent systems with peroxide

The desire is to have available hydrogen peroxide stable at a pH of 8.5-12 that is effective in use (the active oxygen is available) in a liquid detergent.

Other specifications:

·               No skin irritation, etc.

·               No phosphates

·               pH 8.5-12 (preferably pH 11.5-12)

·               Stable for 6 months at 24°C

·               Stable for 8 weeks at both 40°F (+4°C) and 122°F (+50°F)

·               No strong odors that would mask or overpower the fragrances added to detergents

·               No negative interaction with other components of the detergent or other was additives (chlorine, fabric softeners – cationic surfactants)

Scoping of Information and Fermented Food Products from Russia and the Former Soviet Union that have health benefits and antimicrobial properties.

  Objectives:

1) Survey of the folklore, literature, and patents for fermented food products that have purported health benefits and antimicrobial properties. Products should include commercial and non-commercial food products, and ingredients isolated from these products already being used as supplements (eg. probiotic cultures).

2) The information being sought in this objective includes specifics in regards to the product, ingredients used and manufacturing process.  A report on scientific documentation and assessment on the quality of research conducted, on these products as they relate to:

Identification of active ingredients

Mode of action

Animal studies

Human clinical studies.

Safety of identified ingredients.

In relation to the antimicrobial properties of the foods, the information should include information on characteristics of the microorganism producing the antimicrobial, the spectrum of inhibition, and the antimicrobial agent.

Success criteria:

Identification of novel strains of microorganisms or their metabolites on which health claims can be made, that have a high probability of success for commercialization.

Identification of novel strains of microorganisms which produce antimicrobials that can be used for food applications.

Background and Statement of interest:

There are several fermented Russian and Former Soviet Union food products that have purported health benefits and antimicrobial properties. Included in this list are products like Kefir, Kvass and Kombucha.  Anecdotal reports indicate that these products help boost the immune system and are therapeutic for chronic fatigue, chemical sensitivities, allergies and digestive problems.  Several potentially probiotic cultures have been isolated from Kefir, and various health benefits have been attributed to them.

The client is interested in developing a detailed list of Russian and Former Soviet Union fermented food products that have health benefits associated with them.  Of particular interest are benefits associated with immunity, heart health, bone health, digestive health, diabetes, skin care, and obesity.  This information is to be used to develop fermented food products. Of equal interest is the identification and commercialization of the microorganisms and their metabolites as ingredients for use in the production of food and beverage products.

Identifying Russian and Former Soviet Union research groups having the competencies in and are able to solve the specified biotechnology tasks

  PHLburg is to screen the Russian and Former Soviet Union scientific community for a university/institute group, that can supply a qualified English speaking manager and a group of scientists, who have strong competences within cloning/expression and purification of enzymes and are able to perform basic enzyme characterization preferably in the field of biomass degradation enzymology (not essential) and who are prepared to be part of a research team qualified to perform contract research.

PHLburg is to establish a Russian contract research center with staff and together with the client make sure that the team receives adequate training and information about the client’s goals, objectives and research methods to perform qualified and cost-effective contract research results which can be integrated with the rest of the client research organisation. PHLburg will be responsible for managing the team and all government compliance issues. All intellectual property rights produced by the team in performing tasks for the client will be the sole property of the client.

Intention

The client intends to use external scientists (located at one university group or institute in Russia or the Former Soviet Union) to follow up on genomic hits (searched by the client using advanced Bioinformatics). The main focus is to find better enzymes for converting cellulosic biomass to fermentable sugars (biofuels).

More specifically this Project’s overall goal is to:

  • Build a strong group within enzymology: enzyme expression and characterisation  with focus on enzymes relevant for biomass degradation (cellulases, hemicellulases, other plant cell wall degrading enzymes)
  • Best hits from this research will be enzymes that can reduce the overall cost (and enzyme dosis) needed for an almost complete degradation of all cellulose and hemicellulose in Biomass. Main Biomass to focus on will be corn stovers, but other relevant biomass sources will also be investigated.
  • The application tests will be completed internally by the client, but it will be beneficial to develop and run relevant lab assays to characterize the hits boosting performance on a representative substrate
  • In particular, the project scientists will:
  • Identify and classify enzymes that can degrade cellulosic waste material, including enzymes active on hemicellulose fractions

 Requirements

  The project’s scientists and engineers to achieve its goals will pursue the following approaches:

  • Clone and express hits from genome searches (mainly done internally, by the client) covering both bacterial and fungi.
  • Purify and characterize enzymes.
  • Fractionalize and identify new enzyme activities from wild type culture broth for new microorganism, which the client has identified as being of particular interest through their internal wild type screening.
  • Clone, express and characterize the individual enzyme components from these multi component mixes. 
  • Provide support for pilot/initial the transfer of scientific developments in Russia or the Former Soviet Union to the client’s other technology centers and production at the client’s facilities
  • Conduct all of their development efforts in accordance with the client’s standards and processes.

PHLburg will manage the scientific team with the following structure

·        Program manager

·        Project manager – technical

·        Project manager – administrative

Russian or the Former Soviet Union scientific team structure will consist of 

·        Project Manager 

·        Senior Scientists

·        Scientists

·        Lab technicians

The scientists comprising the team will have experience working together. The Project manager and perhaps others will be English speaking.

The Russian or the Former Soviet Union team will have scientific expertise in these areas:

  • Biotechnology engineering, fermentation engineering, colloid chemistry,
  • Protein chemistry, analytical chemistry, wood chemistry, microbiology
  • Scientific expertise in enzymes

Equipment /Instrumentation

The scientists comprising the team will be in an existing facility with the necessary equipment and instrumentation to perform their work.

The most important/big equipment will include:

  • DNA sequencer
  • PCR machine (96 microtiter plate format)
  • FPLC for purification
  • HPLC for characterization
  • Centrifuges
  • Shaker
  • Experimental fermenter (1 to 5 liters )

Program Initiation

The initial program steps are divided into two parts:

Part 1

·        The initial project phase will involve identifying existing Russian and Former Soviet Union teams, qualifying these teams, and reporting to the client on the teams that are qualified to perform the requested contract research.

Part 2

·        Then, the client and PHLburg will conduct joint due diligence of the potential Russian and Former Soviet Union teams for conducting the contract research and make a selection for one of the teams to work with the client.

·        Once an agreement is reached with the Russian or Soviet Union team, the team’s infrastructure will be upgraded, training the Russian team in The client’ procedures will occur, and establishing workflow procedures for efficient interface between the client and the Russian or Former Soviet Union team will be completed. 

·        The client will start with a single project and quickly add further projects. Monthly there will be a program review were:          

·        Goals for the prior month will be compared with actual results for that month   

·        Goals for the subsequent month will be established

Staffing

During the initial setup phase, the Russian or Former Soviet Union team staffing is expected to consist of:

·        1 Project Manager

·        2 Senior Scientists and Senior Engineers

·        4 Scientists and Engineers

·        5 Lab technicians

Note - The composition of the Russian or Former Soviet Union team will be determined only after the Russian or Former Soviet Union’s team is selected and the capabilities of their personnel evaluated.

Additional team members and resources are expected to be added upon successful completion of the initial projects and the client reaching a comfort level with the Russian or Former Soviet Union team. It is expected that the total effort could grow to 50 team members.

 

Thermoplastic elastomers


Task:
The Customer is looking for new developments (materials, formulations) in the area of thermoplastic elastomers (TPE). In terms of their elastic properties, the international analogs of the sought materials are santoprenes. In terms of these properties, the most suitable TPE types are block-copolymers of polyolefins and rubbers, polystyrene and rubbers. Copolymers of polyesters and rubbers are excluded from consideration due to high prices for polyesters.

At that, The Customer is interested in both thermoelastoplasts as such and composites on their base.

Summary:
The sought TEP and composites on their base (including polypropylene and rubbers) will be used for manufacturing toothbrushes. The brush is made from a propylene base with additional TPE parts.

Problem Background:

1.    The Customer is interested in new consumer properties of the brushes:
-    new (additional) functions of the products;
-    new properties of the materials.

2.    New consumer properties of potential interest to the Customer (in order of priority):

Top priorities:
-    transparency (color)
-    new surface properties (including smoothness, roughness, antiseptic properties, sweetish taste, color effects).

Of less interest to the Customer are:
-    various properties of the material in different parts of the product
-    change in the properties under the influence of external factors (mechanical, humidity, illumination etc.)
-    high elasticity.

3.    The least attention should be given to biodegradability and this property should not be considered in connection with others. Of interest is a combination of two properties, e.g. coloring and roughness, elasticity and transparency etc.

4.    The Customer’s molding methods.
-    first a propylene base is made and subsequently TPE parts are molded on it;
-    one-stage manufacture of the entire product.
In this case the former method is preferable.

5.    The main consumer properties of the products must not be worse than those of the existing products.

Specific Technical Needs:
1. Physico-mechanical properties
(guidelines for the type of materials that The Customer is using).
Hardness                            Shore    35A to 55A
Specific Gravity                    0.92 to 0.95
Tensile Strength                   MPa    3.1 to 3.3
Ultimate Elongation              %    450 to 500
Stress at 100% Elongation     MPa    1.0 to 1.5
Tear Strength                       kN/m    12 to 21
Tensile Set                          %    5 to 8   
Compression Set, 168 hrs      %    15 to 21
Brittle Point                        C    up to 60
All at 23C, except brittle point

2. The material must be suitable for injection molding at temperatures up to 240C, but could also be molded at lower temperatures (e.g. 180?) provided the required level of the properties is preserved

3. The material must allow binding with polypropylene

4. The material must be safe when taken into the mouth (admissible for contact with foodstuffs and children’s toys)

5. The material must be sufficiently inexpensive (in case of a new promising property the material price must not be more than 20-30% higher that that of basic TPE types (approximately $2,500 per ton)

6. Thickness of the products is 5 to 15 mm.


To view this Problem Statement in a PDF format, click here.
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Catalysts for Bleaching Systems in Solid Detergents


Goal:
Development of a catalyst which increase the bleaching performance of sodium percarbonate in solid detergents in small amounts and at a low temperature.

Available solid heavy duty detergents in Europe contain bleaching systems of the bleach-active sodium percarbonate and an activator. Attempts have been made to to replace the activator by a catalyst with the aim to increase the bleaching performance, especially at low temperature. The most well-known approaches for a catalyst system are manganese complexes derived from 1,4,7-trimethyl-1,4,7-triazacyclononane and related ligands. However, these substances not only have good bleaching properties, but also cause severe damages on fibers and dyes for certain conditions. Therefore there is the need for catalyst with a good performance which do not show the negative effects on fibers and dyes.

Requirements and specifications:
Performance: Increase of bleaching performance at 30 and 40°C and standard dosage and for standard conditions (see E. Smulders, Laundry Detergents, Wiley VCH 2002, p. 156) for a bleach system of catalyst and bleach-active component without any additional activator by 20% compared to a solid heavy duty detergent like Ariel (P+G) or Persil (HENKA) with activator/ bleach-active system
Stability: No loss in activity of the catalyst in the detergent formulation after 1 month  for storage at 30°C
Influence on fibers: Damage of fibers and dyes by the catalyst/ bleach-active systems not bigger than that of the activator/ bleach-active systems of Ariel or Persil
Costs: Comparable to the costs of the activator system TAED (tetraacetylethylendiamin), availability on a technical scale
Ecology and toxicology: influence on the environment and toxicology on the same low level as for TAED, no “new substance” according to OECD-Guidelines and the German law.

Morin Method for the test of Catalyst Performance

UV spectroscopic method to test bleach catalysts


Preparation of the Morin solution
Bring 100mg Morin in a 1 litre graduated flask. Add 980mL distilled water into the flask. Adjust the pH value at 9.5 with 0.1mol/L NaOH. Stir the mixture for 3 hours. Control continuously the pH value at 9.5 and adjust with 0.1 mol/L NaOH.
The Morin powder should be solved nearly completely and the pH value should be constant.  After this process the solution has to be stirred 8 hours in the absence of light to solubilize the rest of the Morin powder. Then the graduated flask must be refilled with distilled water at the gage mark. This solution must be stored in the refrigerator and must be used within 10 days.

Adjustment of the Spectrometer
For the determination of bleach catalysts a UV-spectrometer is used. The wavelength for the experiments is 400nm. A flow cuvette and a reference cuvette is used. With the help of a thermostat the temperature is kept constant and the temperature gradient from 20° to 60°C must be controlled.

Test of the bleach catalysts
The catalyst is tested in combination with a peroxide or a peroxide source. The catalyst should be in an aqueous solution or dispersion, so that 0.5mL or 1mL per investigation can be used. Generally the concentration of active oxygen in the present method is 160mg per liter in form of a peroxide or the source thereof . The preferred concentration of Morin in the experiment is 5mg/liter, 50mL of the Morin solution is diluted up to 1 liter with distilled water at pH 9.5.

The experiment should be done within a temperature range from 20°C to 60°C and the pH must always be constant at 9.5. The temperature of 100mL of the Morin solution is adjusted. After 5 min temperature equilibration a  flow cuvette  is filled with the experiment solution. Simultaneous with the start of the UV-spectrometer the bleach component is added. The pH of the solution rises. Keep a check on the pH-value and adjust with 1 mol/L HCl in the time of 2 min at pH 9.5.
The 0.5mL or 1mL catalysts is added to the solution, the preferred concentration is 10mg/100mL to about 50mg/100mL. The bleach process consumes alkali. Therefore the pH-value shift  continuously. Keep a check on the pH-value and adjust with 0.1 mol/L NaOH in the time of the experiment at pH 9.5.

Calculation of the results
The UV-spectrometer data were supplied in form of extinction values as a function of the time. The most UV-spectrometer supply the results in form of a graph. The percentage decolorisation is calculated with the help of the following formula:

                                   extinction [2min]  -  extinction [30min]
decolorisation (%) =                                                             * 100
                                                  extinction [2min]

Details
The exact adjustment of the pH-value of 9.5 during the experiment is necessary because the extinction of the Morin solution at 400nm is strongly pH-value dependent.
The bleach experiment without the pH adjustment supplies an extinction curve as a combination of  bleach result and the result of the pH shift.

 
To view this Problem Statement in a PDF format, click here.
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Aerosol


Task: The Customer wishes to develop a spray system with potential to replace the conventional personal care aerosol.


Summary: The technical challenge is how to produce fine droplet sprays, with sufficient momentum appropriate for personal care products and capable of delivering 2-5 seconds of continuous spraying without the use of liquefied gas propellant.

The specific requirements for the dispensing system are:

  • The dispensing system must be able to produce a spray with fluids containing no liquefied gas propellant. (however compressed gases such as air or CO2 may be considered )
  • The dispensing system must be able to create a spray with average particle size (D4,3) in the range 20-40 microns with fluids having viscosity’s in the range of 1-200 centiPoise.
  • The dispensing system must be able to deliver a spray with a discharge rate in the range of 0.2 to 1 gm/sec for fluids having a density in the range 0.8-1.2 gm/ml.
  • The dispensing system must be able to deliver a continuous spray for at least up to 5 seconds
  • The dispensing system must be able to deposit 1-20 mg/cm2 product on the target surface for fluids having a density in the range 0.8-1.2 gm/ cm3
  • The dispensing system must be able to operate as a continuous spray in intermittent use (up to 250 operations) without failure.
  • The dispensing system must be portable, appropriate for hand held use and operable without significant consumer effort.
  • The dispensing system must be able to be used and deliver a spray into air with humidity in the range 20-100% RH.
  • The dispensing system must use materials safe for use as a mass market consumer product.
  • The system must have the potential to be manufactured and sold at economic prices (The target price should not exceed 0.5 US $ per unit.)
To view this Problem Statement in a PDF format, click here.
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Glass


Task: The Customer is looking for materials that can withstand very high temperatures (up to 1700°C), being in contact with hot air and molten glass, and with high mechanical properties.
Metallic alloys are first of all wanted, but advanced ceramics are also to be considered. We are looking for an industrial supplier , or a lab able to transfer its technology.

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Polyunsaturated lipid autoxidation

 

Many foods are containing polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) as part of their natural compositions. Trends in nutrition favor as well the use of oils containing higher and higher amounts of PUFA's. A well recognized fact is that those PUFA's are susceptible to lipid autoxidation and therefore change nutritional profiles, add non-wanted secondary oxidation products to the foods and contribute to the formation of undesired off-flavors.

Question: How to prevent/retard the interaction of ambient oxygen with PUFA's and therefore extend the shelf life of products rich in PUFA's?

To view this Problem Statement in a PDF format, click here.

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