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Converting Ordinary Paper to Extraordinary

Petra's patented, penetrating treatment technology that works on any fiber based paper, converting it to be hydrophobic.

Photo of Eric Chorey
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Idea Title

Converting Ordinary Paper to Extraordinary

Idea Summary

Penetrating treatment process when applied to paper products converts them to be hydrophobic, while still being 100% recyclable, compostable and biodegradable. This treatment is not a coating.

Company / Organization Name (if applicable)

Petra International Holding, LLC.

Please include a visual (can be either 2D or 3D) representation/prototype of your concept. (required)

This solution addresses which of the following:

  • All of the Above

How is your concept recoverable?

The Petra treated paper does not require any new or special recovery systems. Our solution allows paper to be 100% recyclable as proven by tests conducted by Western Michigan University, and is compostable and biodegradable as proven by tests conducted by Organic Waste Systems. Any and all recovery processes in place today can be utilized, as our treatment doesn’t impact any recovery system's ability to fully recycle the Petra paper. Our solution can be implemented upstream in the cup or paper manufacturing process. Furthermore, our process allows paper to be 100% biodegradable via aerobic composting test performed by Organic Waste Systems in Gent Belgium, thus allowing for full decomposition per standard’s ASTM D 6868-03, EN13432 and ISO 17088.

How have you incorporated additional sustainability attributes (beyond recoverability) into your solution?

Our treatment solution uses no petroleum-based coatings or waxes. Furthermore, it doesn’t use any type of “water hold out” or “wet strength” type chemicals. The process works on both virgin and recycled fiber paper, thus reducing the need for virgin paper cup stock.

What regions do you plan to address with your solution (and how will you accomplish this)?

The patented Petra treatment process is a paper treatment solution, which paper, once treated, can be used to manufacture cups (and other items). Our process can be added in existing manufacturers' equipment lines or operate as a standalone treatment system. Thus, all regions could benefit from this solution by producing a cup which is 100% recyclable, compostable and biodegradable.

Describe your target market. Who will benefit from your product?

The impact the treatment has on the markets allows paper-based manufacturers to differentiate their products, develop new and existing markets, expand applications, meet sustainability goals, satisfy regulatory/legislative requirements and minimize the use of non-recyclable packaging. We see pressure within the market to develop sustainable solutions to legacy treatments which are recyclable sustainable solutions. Petra has met with WestRock, Hub Folding Box, Dunn Paper, USDA, Graphics Packaging, Pratt Industries, PCA, Havi Global Solutions and others have shown great interest in the treatment technology. All are intrigued but we believe it will take customer demand to motivate change.

What is the current stage of development of your idea?

  • Piloting

What are the biggest challenges you are facing today? What are existing gaps in your solution?

Our biggest challenge is convincing the consumers, manufacturers and converters that this is not too good to be true. DOW Corning, from whom Petra purchased the patent, didn't commercialize the patent because it's not part of DOW's core business, which is the manufacture of chemicals used in the process. DOW continues to hold royalty rights in the patent and is therefore financially interested in Petra's success, but is restricted by a non-compete, so Petra has the exclusive rights to this process. This treatment process is very disruptive technology; it will be a paradigm shift that will revolutionize the current processes that are being utilized in the market today. This type of change takes time and vision. We need capital and marketing partners who understand the value and opportunity this process provides. We need assistance to work through the issue on how best to seal the cup and assist in attaining FDA direct food contact certification, which we know is achievable.

Mentorship Needs (please select up to 3)

  • Engineering and Manufacturing
  • Product / Industrial Design and Prototyping
  • Fundraising / Finance

Tell us about yourself and your team. What is your background and experience?

Eric Chorey has 25 years in technical and utility field industrial operations. Eric is President of Petra and has been the moving force of the commercialization efforts of Petra during the last four years. Eric's team is described below in "Team."

In what city are you located?

Tallahassee Florida

In what country are you located?


What is your legal / organizational structure? (if applicable)

Petra International Holding, LLC, is a Florida limited liability company

Please describe how becoming a Top Idea will support the growth of your concept.

It validates what we and Dow Corning know could be a radical change in packaging and more specifically cups, eliminating coated non-recyclable materials from the waste stream. The selection will also partner Petra's treatment process with others who are singularly focused on solving this huge issue and share the desire to truly make a difference in how we leave this world. It will encourage investors to provide Petra the capital and market contacts it needs to commercialize its Petra process

How did you hear about the Challenge?

  • Closed Loop Partners website / social media


Leon Cook retired after 37 years at DOW Corning as chemical engineer in development of this treatment technology. Jerry Horne, 25 years’ experience in R&D product development and testing, at Florida State University. Attorney Fred Harris of Greenberg Traurig, LLP, with 40 years of corporate experience is a serial entrepreneur for green companies, owns Damfino's, a farm-to-table restaurant, and Full Earth Farm, an organic farm, which also generates the electricity for the farm with solar.

Material / Recoverability Plan

The Petra treatment process uses a readily available chemistry developed and manufactured by DOW Corning and others, which is also used in the manufacturing of cosmetics and other consumer products. The chemistry can be utilized with current fiber paper cup stock and corrugate material, used in the manufacturing of paper cups, trays, straws, sleeves and lids. Since our treatment process uses no petroleum-based coatings or waxes, the product can utilize all existing recycling programs. There is no need to create a new recycling process or education effort when using paper which has undergone the Petra treatment. Furthermore, should Petra treated paper reach our rivers, oceans, and streams, it will biodegrade and decompose.


The Petra treatment process can be used and licensed to currently existing paper manufacturers' or paper converters' operations. Petra sees these strategic licensing relationships as the only way to make the widespread impact necessary to change the course of nonrecyclable manufacturing. Granting licenses to these entities would provide them the opportunity to continue to leverage their existing manufacture operations, supply, and distribution channel relationships and to be on the cutting edge of green packaging future. Furthermore, Petra plans to license equipment manufacturers to build, deliver and service the treatment equipment necessary to perform the Petra treatment process. The readily available chemistries which are used in our treatment process will be sourced through an existing agreement with DOW, however the agreement affords Petra the flexibility to source with alternative providers.

Final Prototype


The Petra treatment process, once applied, to paper will allow the paper to maintain its performance properties until use. The hydrophobicity does not deteriorate over time. Because our treatment is not a coating, but a penetrating treatment, paper can be cut, scored, folded and printed, without loss of its unique proprieties. The Petra treatment process was patented and developed by Dow Corning and validate through its laboratories and independent third-party laboratory Organic Waste System. The paper, post treatment, will fully decompose per ASTM D 6868-03, EN13432 and ISO 17088 standards. The treated paper meets the Fiber Box Association voluntary standards for repulp and recycling per tests by Western Michigan University. The process meets 21 CFR 170.39 protocol regulation extraction testing, performed by Dow and the NFL. Importantly the Petra process is less expensive than the treatments being currently utilized for paper cups.

Ecosystem Placement

Petra envisions the placement of our treatment process at the manufacturer or converter stage of manufacturing process. The upstream placement allows for change to be experienced immediately across multiple product lines of the food-service industry, not just cups. Our solution is a treatment solution, not a recovery solution design, but a solution that is a technological paradigm shift to what is available in the industry. The paper treated with the Petra treatment process will have no impact on existing or future recovery systems. Because our paper is recyclable, compostable and biodegradable, there is no need to change existing processes for cup or other food services container recovery. Furthermore, there would be no “one off” recovery solution as there is no special coating on the paper.

Rollout Plan

Please see attachment called Estimated Growth Strategy

Business Model Canvas

Please see attachment called Petra Business Plan

Prize Funding

Prize money would be used for (i) R&D activities relating to the adhesives to seal of the cup, (ii) completing the final engineering and design reviews for the treatment equipment (iii) completing the FDA protocol for food contact certification, and (iv)operations and marketing activities. No part of the prize money would go toward salaries, all monies would be used toward accomplishing the commercialization of the Petra treatment solution in the market.

NextGen Accelerator

  • Yes, I am interested in participating in the NextGen Cup Accelerator
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Attachments (2)

Busness Plan.pdf

Petra Business Plan

Estimated Growth Strategy.pdf

Activities and timeline to market.

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