Evolva, US Navy to collaborate on resveratrol-based composites

Testing is underway of materials fabricated from a special formulation of Evolva’s resveratrol.

Biotechnology company Evolva, Reinach, Switzerland, is working with the US Navy to focus on the development of a new class of structural composite materials engineered from a polymer resin matrix fabricated from a specified formulation of Evolva’s resveratrol. Evolva has produced and delivered this specified formulation, and will continue to work with the Navy to advance this new class of composites.

Currently available structural carbon composites are often unsuited for high-energy, high fire-risk applications such as fuel tanks, engine components, high-rise buildings, elevators, rockets, trains and lithium battery casings. The polymer resin matrix being tested for this new class of composite materials is made from a special formulation of Evolva’s resveratrol, which can be economically and sustainably manufactured on an industrial scale using advanced biotechnology and fermentation, converted to a thermosetting monomer, and then polymerized and shaped/molded using standard fabrication techniques.

The company says that prototype materials made from its resveratrol have performed well in preliminary tests. Resveratrol polymer composites are reportedly lighter than aluminum, halogen free and able to withstand prolonged exposure to intense heat and flame impingement without combusting or structurally degrading. More testing is needed, but if results remain consistent it could usher in a new class of structural composite materials. Over and above the benefits to the US Navy, there could be a broad spectrum of civilian applications (aviation, aerospace, automotive, public transport, construction, electronics, energy storage and transmission) and professionals (first responders, construction workers, miners, foundry workers, welders, mechanics) that stand to benefit from products fortified with these composites. “Engineering with biology provides a way to produce a whole range of product innovations that would otherwise be impossible to achieve economically and sustainably,” said Evolva CEO Neil Goldsmith.