The University of York have developed the Starbon technology for producing mesoporous carbons from Starch which has been scaled up to kg scale pilot operations by the Biorenewables Development Centre. This technology is currently being used to produce and sell materials to the open market by a University of York spin out company, Starbons LTD.
These materials have historically been produced from food grade starch with the best performing carbons emanating from high amylose starches. A challenge in the upscaling to commercial development is the high gelation temperature required for these materials which necessitates expensive pressure equipment.
Damaged starch provides a potential avenue to reduce the gelation temperature of the process by making the amylose more accessible. This will ultimately lead to lower CAPEX costs for the future production plants.
While the Starbon technology has historically focussed on the traditional chemical sectors this project will target the food encapsulation market. Using undamaged and damaged starch vitamin C encapsulations will be produced using a modified Starbon process and compared against current encapsulation methods. This will open a potential new market for Starbons to exploit.