Our summer 2014 issue included a story on Professor Emeritus Wolfgang Glasser’s work with the start-up firm cycleWood Solutions Inc. to produce plastic bags that degrade within six months when composted. The firm has since received a $741,221 Phase II National Science Foundation grant, which will allow the company to accelerate the commercialization of its Xylobag products. A few retail chains have already made commitments to stock the bags.

“This is a dream come true,” said Glasser. “It is a first commercial success after the American Chemical Society published an article on the early work at Virginia Tech 30 years ago predicting that the use of lignin is coming of age.” Lignin, a compound of plant cell walls that is discarded in the papermaking process, is a key component in the production of Xylobags.

Read the original press release.