Technology solution developer Lummus and biotechnology company RWDC Industries have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to work together to deploy polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) across the globe.

PHA manufacturing is a sustainable solution that can replace synthetically-produced petroleum-based plastics.

The joint development initiative provides global licensing opportunities that will expedite the manufacturing of PHA.

The partnership will combine Lummus’ knowledge in process technology with RWDC’s expertise in the production and application of PHA to enhance the accessibility and mass adoption of the product.

Lummus president and chief executive officer Leon de Bruyn said: “We are excited to combine Lummus and RWDC’s collective expertise, experience and resources to commercialise PHAs, a sustainable and economic solution to help address global plastic waste.

“Together, we can provide eco-friendly biodegradable plastics, while driving innovation and advancing the circular economy of our industry.”

RWDC, which has its global headquarters in Singapore, manufactures organically recyclable or home-compostable Solon PHA using plant-based oils such as post-consumer and waste cooking oils.

PHA-based products are said to be fully biodegradable in soil, fresh water and marine environments.

RWDC chief executive officer Dr Daniel Carraway said: “Our focus is to make environmentally safe and highly functional biobased materials available globally.

“Our partnership with Lummus is a significant step toward enabling PHA to assist our customers – and, therefore, consumers – in meeting the global challenge of plastics pollution.”

The agreement was signed by Carraway and de Bruyn at Lummus’ headquarters in Houston, Texas.