RadTech Award Winner: Pyran Receives Competitive Grant from National Science Foundation

Madison-based Corn Cobs to Coatings Company Earns National Award

MADISON, WISCONSIN — Madison-based Pyran, Inc. has received a $1M Phase II Small Business Innovative Research grant from the National Science Foundation to promote the company’s work to make paints and coatings from renewable sources like corn cobs.

Pyran co-founders Professor George Huber, and Dr. Kevin Barnett discovered a new chemical pathway to make a key paint ingredient called 1,5-pentanediol (1,5-PDO) out of corn cobs.

“We are honored to have garnered the support of the NSF as it demonstrates that we are on the cutting edge of making everyday products using renewable resources,” said Pyran’s Co-Founder, Dr. Kevin Barnett.
The NSF said Pyran’s work is significant.

“NSF is proud to support the technology of the future by thinking beyond incremental developments and funding the most creative, impactful ideas across all markets and areas of science and engineering,” said Andrea Belz, Division Director of the Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships at NSF. “With the support of our research funds, any deep technology startup or small business can guide basic science into meaningful solutions that address tremendous needs.”

Pyran’s 1,5-pentanediol (1,5-PDO) product is part of a class of chemicals called “diols.” Diols are used in the chemical industry as a starting material in manufacturing paints, coatings, plastics, and adhesives.
Products made from diols can be found in many everyday items, such as nylon in your clothing, plastics in your car, and paints for your everyday luxuries.

Pyran is currently the only company that can make 1,5-PDO at a low cost and the only company to make 1,5-PDO from renewable resources.
Pyran, Inc. is located in Madison, Wisconsin. The company spun out of UW-Madison where it was supported by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.

Visit Pyran’s website to learn more.

To schedule an interview, contact Laura Gallagher (608) 442-6336 (Office) or 608-558-0662 (Cell).