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Project Grant


Grant Description
Green composites fabricated from bacteria retted bast fiber and PLA for light weight vehicle components.
Place of Performance
Denton, Texas 76210-5572 United States
Geographic Scope
Single Zip Code
Analysis Notes
Amendment Since initial award the End Date has been extended from 03/26/23 to 04/18/23.
Z&S Tech was awarded Project Grant DESC0022736 worth $200,000 from the Office of Science in June 2022 with work to be completed primarily in Denton Texas United States. The grant has a duration of 10 months and was awarded through assistance program 81.049 Office of Science Financial Assistance Program. The Project Grant was awarded through grant opportunity FY 2022 SBIR/STTR Phase I Release 2.

SBIR Details

Research Type
SBIR Phase I
Green Composites Fabricated from Bacteria Retted Bast Fiber and PLA for light weight vehicle Components
We propose to develop low carbon emission, biodegradable green composites from bacteria retted bast fiber and polylactic acid (PLA) (BFPC) for automotive components. PLA is a biodegradable polyester produced from renewable resource, which has become a sustainable alternative to petrochemical derived polymers. The composites fabricated from bast fiber and PLA will be 100% biodegradable. The proposed bacteria retting is a simple green process using bacteria as an agent, from which no chemical and high energy equipment are needed. From the bacteria retting process, stem length bast fibers are obtained, which can be incorporated into continuous fiber weaving process for fibric mat. In Phase I of this project, Z&S Tech will partner with UNT to optimize our innovative fast bacteria retting technique to obtain strong bast fiber from hemp, from which a 100% biodegradable composites will be fabricated with the PLA polymer. Our first target (Phase I) is to fabricate the secondary interior auto parts, such as instrumental panels, interior compartment. Through the successful completion of Phase I, we will further develop the bast fiber-PLA composites to improve its durability performance so that it can be used as exterior components, such as door and bumper panels. The specific tasks of this project are: (1) Optimization of the bacteria retting process with the Pectinolytic bacteria initiated from the pectin. (2) Composites fabrication and testing: The optimal process parameter for the bateria retted natural fiber – PLA (BFPC) will be obtained to reach the goal of > 45 GPa modulus for the retted fiber and > 6 GPa for the resulted BFPC. The composites will be tested in bending, tension, moisture absorption, dimensional stability, and durability as compared with that of the fiber glass composite materials. (3) Life Cycle Assessment (LCA): The LCA will be carried out to evaluate the environmental benefits of the proposed bacteria retting technique comparing with other retting methods.
Topic Code
Solicitation Number


Last Modified 4/3/23

Period of Performance
Start Date
End Date
100% Complete

Funding Split
Federal Obligation
Non-Federal Obligation
Total Obligated
100.0% Federal Funding
0.0% Non-Federal Funding

Activity Timeline

Interactive chart of timeline of amendments to DESC0022736

Transaction History

Modifications to DESC0022736

Additional Detail

SAI Number
Award ID URI
Awardee Classifications
Small Business
Awarding Office
Funding Office
892401 SCIENCE
Awardee UEI
Awardee CAGE
Performance District
Not Applicable

Budget Funding

Federal Account Budget Subfunction Object Class Total Percentage
Science, Energy Programs, Energy (089-0222) General science and basic research Grants, subsidies, and contributions (41.0) $200,000 100%
Modified: 4/3/23