Novel Hempseed Oil-Based Bio-epoxy for the Manufacturing of Sporting Goods

EPA Contract Number: EPD17036
Title: Novel Hempseed Oil-Based Bio-epoxy for the Manufacturing of Sporting Goods
Investigators: Bouchier, Evan
Small Business: ZILA Works
EPA Contact: Richards, April
Phase: I
Project Period: September 1, 2017 through February 28, 2018
Project Amount: $99,671
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2017) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) , SBIR - Manufacturing


Epoxy resins are typically created using bisphenol A (BPA), an endocrine disrupting chemical. In addition, over 90% of plastics are derived from virgin fossil feedstocks, equivalent to ~ 6% of global oil consumption. This project proposes to develop an innovative bio-epoxy resin based on the fatty acids of hempseed oil. This approach is to dismantle (by hydrolysis) the triglyceride structure and rebuild new monomers with structures more appropriate for thermosets. Epoxy resins are used as the matrix for composites in products ranging from outdoor recreational equipment to aircraft parts. ZILA Works is targeting boutique U.S. based ski and snowboard manufacturers as the entry point to the resin market. A quality BPA free, bio-based material caters directly to the values of these companies and their customers. The bioplastics market has generated $7.5 Billion in global demand since 2013, with an estimated annual growth rate of 28%. The demand for epoxy resin in North America was $1.2 Billion in 2014. Preliminary results indicate that hemp oil-based epoxy resin demonstrate comparable performance as the commercial bisphenol A (BPA) type epoxies. This technology helps to decouple plastics production from an extractive resource feedstock, and replace with a carbon sequestering renewable feedstock.

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report