November 16, 2018

P2 Science brings green chemistry to Naugatuck

Photo | Contributed
Photo | Contributed
The interior of P2 Science's new Naugatuck manufacturing facility.
Photo | Contributed
P2 Science Chief Scientific Officer Patrick Foley.

P2 Science, a green chemistry company, recently planted roots in Naugatuck and has already announced a ground-breaking innovation in organically derived fragrances.

The company, spun out of research at Yale University, is the first commercial manufacturing plant that uses patented technology that extracts high-value specialty products from renewable plant sources.

P2 Science announced Oct. 26 that it had manufactured the first-ever commercial quantities of a renewable, vegetable-based linear fragrance aldehyde at its Naugatuck plant. The product, BioNonanal, is a component of fragrances that imparts waxy, citrus and floral notes to household and personal care products.

Naugatuck officials cut the ribbon at P2's new facility on Sept. 12, with guests including Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-5) and Commissioner of Economic and Community Development Catherine Smith.

P2's name stands for "pollution prevention," and also shorthand for "people and the planet," according to its founders, Paul Anastas and Patrick Foley. The pair started the company after working together at the Yale Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering. Neil Burns serves as CEO of the company, headquartered in Woodbridge.

P2 Science decided to open a plant in Naugatuck as the company needed manufacturing space that would be adjacent to R&D facilities, and the structure at 162 Great Hill Road turned out to be the right fit. The structure houses 27,000 square feet of space for industrial, office and flex uses.

"We were really excited when we saw the site in the industrial park," said Foley, P2's chief science officer and co-founder. "It needed some work, but we had a great landlord that was willing to work with us and now we are all just so happy to be in Naugatuck," he added.

Foley said driving force behind P2 Science is the belief that green chemistry can improve materials that are used every day, including personal care products and plastics. The company hopes to bend the arc of the chemistry industry towards a more sustainable practices and to deliver products to customers that are safer, higher performing and better for the environment, he added.

"We also hope to show that there is an incredible business case to be made for doing things this way," said Foley.

As for the clientele so far, production has only begun, but there are several close partners around the globe serving various markets. Currently, the plant will be primarily making ingredients for the flavor, fragrance, and cosmetic industries on the scale of hundreds of tons annually.

The company focuses on plant-derived source materials for its ingredients including vegetable oils from field crops and terpenes from the forest products sector. Chemical processes utilized to derive products are found in nature, such as oxidation and mineral-based reductions and isomerizations. P2 also develops specially designed, patented reactor systems to carry out these processes. The first plant is an example of one such process being commercialized.

"There are many more processes in the technology pipeline," Foley said.

The company's move to Naugatuck has heartened local officials looking to revitalize the former industrial center. Ronald J. Pugliese, chief executive officer of the Naugatuck Economic Development Corp., said that it is great that P2 has decided to come to Naugatuck and that he expects great things to come of the company's strong links to Yale's cutting-edge research.

"We really like it as it's a unique thing they do and we're happy they're in town," added Naugatuck Mayor N. Warren (Pete) Hess III.

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