Novomer Inc.

Novomer Inc.

Novomer is a new materials company pioneering a family of low-cost, high-performance, green plastics, polymers and other chemicals. Founded in 2004 by technology commercialization firm KensaGroup, Dr. Geoffrey Coates and Dr. Scott Allen, the company is based on pioneering catalysts developed at Cornell University. Novomer`s groundbreaking technology allows carbon dioxide and other renewable materials to be cost-effectively transformed into polymers, plastics and other chemicals for a wide variety of industrial markets. Novomer, based in Ithaca, New York, has been highlighted by the BBC, CNN, Dow Jones, Forbes, the New York Times and WIRED.

Company details

Floor 4E, 200 West Street , Waltham , MA 02451 USA

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Business Type:
Industry Type:
Chemical & Pharmaceuticals
Market Focus:
Nationally (across the country)
Year Founded:

This company also provides solutions for other industrial applications.
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Novomer is an emerging sustainable chemistry company.

We're commercializing a family of high performance, cost effective, environmentally responsible polymers and chemicals based on proprietary catalyst technology. Novomer was founded in 2004 and is headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts and has development facilities in Ithaca and Rochester, NY.

Novomer’s synthetic chemical technology allows traditional chemical feedstocks to be combined with carbon dioxide or carbon monoxide to cost effectively synthesize sustainable chemicals and materials for a wide variety of applications. The chemicals and materials contain up to 50% by weight low cost waste carbon dioxide (CO2) or carbon monoxide (CO) and, as a result, have a significantly reduced carbon and energy footprint and advantaged economics as compared to the materials they will replace. Not only do the materials and chemicals offset the use of petroleum derived feedstocks, they also sequester the CO2 and CO for the life of the product, mitigating global warming and climate change.

Converting waste into valuable materials.

'Converting carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide from pollution into valuable materials has the potential to transform the plastics and materials landscape on a global scale.'

Jim Mahoney, Novomer CEO

Novomer is a new materials company commercializing a family of competitively priced high-performance sustainable polymers and chemicals based on the beneficial use of waste gasses such as carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. With proprietary catalyst and process technologies and a world-class scientific team, Novomer's groundbreaking work allows these waste greenhouse gasses to be cost-effectively transformed into building blocks for a wide variety of industrial products and applications.

The environmental benefits of Novomer's technology are significant.

Not only do the polymers and chemicals enable the substitution of waste green house gasses (Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and Carbon Monoxide (CO)) for petroleum based raw materials but they also sequester these waste gasses in the polymers and chemicals. Novomer technology not only benefits the environment, but also, as the use of waste gasses as raw materials results in very cost effective manufacturing costs, it enables the production of competitively priced materials without any external subsidies -- making them cost effective replacements today for petroleum derived incumbent materials in a variety of industrial applications.

Distinctive Technology Platforms

Novomer is commercializing two distinct technology platforms, one which uses waste CO2 as a raw material to produce a family of polyols for use in polyurethane applications and another which uses waste CO to produce C3 and C4 drop-in chemicals (acrylic acid, butanediol, THF). The foundation for these platforms results from catalyst research completed at Cornell University. Novomer obtained an exclusive license for this technology and was founded in 2004 to scale and commercialize these technologies.

The CO2 technology platform combines waste CO2 with commodity Epoxides (Ethylene Oxide (EO) and Propylene Oxide (PO) being the most common) to form a family of novel polymers that contain up to 50% by weight CO2. The advantage of the use of CO2 as a raw material is:

  1. CO2 is a greenhouse gas and the Polymers consume and sequester it,
  2. CO2 is an extremely low cost raw material relative to petroleum based feedstocks, and
  3. CO2 enables Polymers with unique performance relative to incumbent petroleum derived or bio-based polymers.

Novomer's proprietary catalyst system is cost effective and produces a polymer with an extremely precise backbone, and little to no by-products. In addition, the polymerization reaction occurs at slightly above room temperature so the entire process generates a very small carbon footprint.

Novomer’s CO Technology has the potential to be 20-50% lower cost and more environmentally friendly than today’s technologies used to make the same chemicals. The low cost can be attributed to the high selectivity of the catalyst, use of CO as a raw material, and abundant supply of ethane in many parts of the world to make cheap EO. The carbon and energy footprints using Novomer’s catalyst will also be lower when the CO is sourced from a waste stream of another process, biomass via gasification, or another renewable starting material.