Green Bio-Degradable Composites from Natural Fibers
Successful commercial spin-off from Cornell University based on university research and IP (resin for bonding fibers from soya beans). Environmental awareness is increasing interest in and demand for green composites. Being biodegradable and made from natural raw materials, these products offer an environmentally positive alternative to products currently made from non-renewable resources (petroleum by products). These products do not use Formaldehyde, which is a health hazard.
TIV has produced bio-composites from several grasses, and is identifying candidate fibers in the Caribbean. A licensing agreement is being negotiated with Cornell. The project will be presented to the World Bank funded Venture Capital Unit in the Caribbean in March of 2016.
Ventures for Change
We understand that technology is only part of the solution. Our innovative and sustainable solutions created by top experts are the result of service innovation, design thinking, as well as technology. We select our clients carefully for their social commitment, excellence in management, leadership in their field, appetite for innovation, and analytical strengths.
Our ventures employ state of the art technologies, multidimensional and cross sectoral approaches, best practices in risk mitigation, coupled with deep insights gained from the extensive experience of our team in staged implementation and strategic alliances. We have no sectoral focus, our only condition is that our ventures address a major socio-economic and environmental challenge - and produce an unambiguous solution.
Examples of how we lay future building blocks of sustainable economic growth through innovation
Oil Absorbents made from Banana Stalk Fiber
The stalk of the banana plant has strong capillary properties which makes it an excellent absorbent of oil. Oil absorbents have land and marine applications (oil spills, ships, factories, gas stations, etc.). The dominant fiber in the market today is polypropylene (PPP, a petroleum by-product). The banana fiber oil absorbing performance is close to that of PPP. The stalk is a waste by product of banana cultivation and available as a raw material at near zero cost. The biodegradable nature of the product makes it attractive from an environmental perspective.
TIV designed and built a pilot plant in Costa Rica for the production of the oil absorbents, which showed high performance and a low cost of production. TIV is currently developing the project for the Caribbean in partnership with large banana producers in St. Lucia and Jamaica.
Microbial Waste Treatment System
TIV is working with Columbia University to commercialize a unique Waste Treatment Technology developed by a University Professor (who won the MacArthur Award for his work).
The system uses microbial ecology, molecular biology and engineering to turn human waste into clean water and usable fertilizer. Certain combinations of mixed microbial communities, similar to those that occur naturally, can be used to mitigate the harmful environmental impacts of wastewater and extract useful products. The process is much more energy efficient and economical than other alternatives and leaves no residue. It is scaleable. TIV and Columbia will establish an independent private corporation to commercialize the technology. The market for the system is global. The system is currently being tested by three large water companies. Columbia University is funding the first phase of the project.
Bio-Refinery for Natural Extracts
TIV introduced the Australian Cone Column technology to Jamaica. The company produces a variety of natural extracts from local produce. The company operates in the southern region of Jamaica and has been recognized by the government as a potential model for the country.
TIV is working to expand and refine the model by identifying more new products from local produce in the region, and integrating other technologies to improve flexibility. The bio refinery has been designed to produce multiple products, use integrated technologies, address supply and market fluctuations and be scaleable. TIV is working with the company as well as other potential partners to commercially develop this project for the Caribbean region.
Production of Inulin from Agave
Inulin (a probiotic with a growing global market) is found in the leaf pulp of the agave leaf. Several other products are also possible from the leaf pulp, including: sugars, fuel bagasse, potable alcohol, high fructose, lactic acid and ester. The market price for inulin makes it most attractive option.
Pilot testing and analysis has been conducted on agave plants in Mexico by the TIV partner technology company in Vera Cruz. The processes involved in inulin production are: Extraction, centrifugation, clarification, evaporation, de-coloration, filtration, drying and packaging. TIV is currently commercializing this technology.
Water Filter for Household Use
Access to drinking water of adequate quality is a major problem in many countries. Many households, particularly low income and rural populations, do not have access to clean drinking water at an affordable cost and are often outside the reach of existing public and private distribution systems.
TIV, in partnership with its water technology partner, has designed a filter with a capacity of 15 liters/day, which requires no energy, and removes 99.99% of organic and inorganic contaminants. The filter has passed US and Mexican standards and is ready for product launch. The cost to the consumer per liter is 5% of the lowest available alternative in Mexico 0.5 pesos/liter).
TIV's Global Reach
Past and current project locations:
Eastern Europe: Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Macedonia (FYROM), Bulgaria, Serbia, Georgia, Kosovo
Caribbean and Latin America: CARICOM AND CARIRI countries, Mexico
Africa: Mali, South Africa, Morocco, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda
Asia: China, Philippines, Singapore, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia
MENA: Tunisia, Turkey, Egypt, Kuwait