24 Feb Starting Up: Company started at UW-Madison hopes to make paint production greener
Faux leather, latex paints, adhesives, no-chip nail polish — all of these and more are made with a key ingredient that’s made from petroleum and comes at a high price point, but a Madison-based startup says it can make the same chemical out of corn and wood chips.
Kevin Barnett, CEO of Pyran, said his company’s process for creating 1,5-pentanediol (1,5-PDO), which is used in a multitude of paints and coatings, out of plant materials is not just more environmentally friendly than the current petroleum-based method; it’s also cheaper.
“There’s a lot of issues with global warming and climate change, and (petroleum) is a non-renewable resource. It’s going to run out one day,” Barnett said. “If we want to still have paints and coatings in 50 years, we need to find other ways to make them.”