Student: Kaitlin Gawkins, 2019-2020

Sponsor: mobius, Lenoir City, TN

Mobius developed a family of biodegradable lignin-based polymer materials in the form of 2-3mm pellets. To date, the team has focused on applying this technology to the horticultural industry for construction of physical items like biodegradable flower pots and seed trays. Yet, many prospective customers have inquired about the potential to add nutrients to the pellets for use in the agricultural industry. Mobius proposed that with some formulation modifications, like the addition of mineral or organic nutrients, these pellets can be added to soils where they will provide a source of nutrients to plants as slow-release fertilizer. By expanding to the agricultural industry, mobius hopes to grow their early-stage company while solving many of the problems associated with fertilizer use in the U.S. today, such as contamination of water sources. My role in this project is to develop a commercialization plan for this expansion into the fertilizer market.