News | Jun 13, 2017

Texas business licenses ‘green’ soil stabilizer from Army

TechLink forms partnership between military and industry to advance research applications

News Article Image of Texas business licenses ‘green’ soil stabilizer from Army

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, builds emergency levees for the Minnesota and North Dakota communities of the Red River of the North river basin during a 2010 flood. (Army Corps of Engineers/Mike DeRusha)

A Texas firm is preparing a new product line using an environmentally-friendly soil stabilizer invented by the Department of Defense.

Kingdom Resources of Irving, Texas, signed the license agreement on May 10 for the Army’s “green” biopolymer, which is made using soil bacteria.

The company plans products for government and private customers that can stabilize sloped surfaces like dam levies and combat water erosion near road construction sites, with other applications in the works.

“We are excited to be able to work with the Environmental Lab at Vicksburg Research Station to develop a commercial product for stabilization and remediation,” said Mark Wilson, Kingdom Resources’ CEO.

Biopolymers are recognized across industry for their attractive qualities, including natural degradation. This contrasts with most synthetic polymers, commonly known as plastics, that are made from petroleum and resist degradation.

Wilson said he found the technology after beginning a targeted research effort on the soil stabilization topic.

The high-performance biopolymer compound was developed in Mississippi at the Army Corps of Engineers’ Environmental Laboratory for erosion control on military bases.

The research team patented it in 2005, and has licensed the technology previously for specific fields of use. As a soil stabilizer, the biopolymer also promotes revegetation.

After a cooperative testing phase with Army researchers, Kingdom Resources is continuing its own research and development.

“The (Army) lab was excited to see this technology attracting interest again,” said Marti Elder, senior technology manager at TechLink who assisted in the agreement. “And it really makes a positive statement that Kingdom Resources is continuing R&D after the initial phase with the Army.”

Troy Carter can be reached at troy.carter@montana.edu or 406-994-7798.

Headshot Image of Marti Elder, CLP

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