New PLA facility in Thailand
NatureWorks has passed the final authorization milestone by parent companies Cargill and GC International Corporation, a subsidiary of PTT Group, for a new Ingeo PLA manufacturing facility in Thailand.
Corporate action on climate change is partly driven by a desire to get ahead of upcoming legislation. Reputation is also a major factor: it never hurts to be seen as a leader. But the bottom line is that markets will reward — and eventually demand — climate-friendly products and services, so it is important to understand how each solution can help to reduce or even avoid carbon emissions completely. The bioeconomy, byrenewable raw materials instead of fossil resources, helps mitigate climate change by reducing emissions from fossil carbon in the atmosphere and capturing more carbon in the biosphere.
Today, innovative and agile start-ups such as AFYREN, Genomatica, Novamont and Chaincraft B.V. are the driving force behind the introduction of new biotech solutions. Some are developing new technologies to produce chemicals in a more sustainable way. They either use alternative raw materials made from renewable biomass and agricultural by-products or they achieve significant reductions in energy consumption while operating existing production processes. Biobased “green chemistry” uses new methods to offer the same molecules as the conventional fossil-based processes with a significantly lower carbon footprint.
AFYREN offers a wide range of drop-in replacement molecules that are 100% biobased, created in a fully circular production process, and based on a local sourcing approach. AFYREN NEOXY is the first production facility to implement AFYREN’s Technology and know-how. Located at the CHEMESIS industrial platform in Carling Saint-Avold, it produces a family of 7 organic acids. The unique, environmentally friendly technology transforms agricultural byproducts into valuable chemical building blocks, such as acetic, propioninc and butyric acid. With this holistic strategy, AFYREN is able to offer companies from all industries low carbon solutions to help them reach or even exceed their ambitious carbon emission targets.
Chaincraft is building on nature’s principles and has developed a platform technology to produce sustainable and circular fatty acids for the agrifood and chemical & materials industries. In our unique biotechnological process different types of organic residues are robustly converted into a number of short and medium chain fatty acids, such as butyric, valeric and caprylic acid.
The so-called ‘chain elongation technology’ is ChainCraft’s first commercial scale proven technology. Building upon the wide variety of possibilities which open mixed culture fermentation bring, we are developing other innovative processes and products to be able to contribute to a circular and sustainable chemical industry.
Genomatica, a leader in enabling clean manufacturing, announced it has licensed its GENO BDO® biomanufacturing process technology to Cargill, which is using it in its newly-announced joint venture with HELM, Qore, to produce renewable 1,4-butanediol (BDO). The technology for the BDO production facility will be a part of the recently announced $300M investment by Cargill and HELM at the biotechnology campus in Eddyville, Iowa. With the completion of this facility in 2024, Genomatica’s technology will enable a combined, global production capacity of over 100,000 tons per year of renewable BDO. Companies around the world are rapidly rethinking their supply chains to meet increasing consumer and investor demand for responsible, transparent and sustainable sourcing of performance materials.
Since 2014, Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) has funded 11 flagship biorefineries in Europe, leveraging €1.3 billion in private investments to support the design and construction of the biorefineries, creating 3,500 new direct jobs and 10,000 indirect ones. Projects that have received funding include FARMŸNG, Exilva Cellulose Fibrils, First2Run, AgriChemWhey, PEFerence, AFTER-BIOCHEM, SWEETWOODS, Plenitude, Resolute, abacus, and Lignoflag.
Avantium, a leading technology company in renewable chemistry, has completed the application validation for its plant-based glycols plantMEG™ and plantMPG™ produced in the Ray Technology™ demonstration plant in Chemie Park Delfzijl. Key applications include polymerisation to PEF and PET polyesters and functional fluids used for de-icing and heat transfer. Consequently, proving the functional performance of the plant-based glycols is an important step in the scale-up of the Ray Technology™. Both plantMEG and plantMPG are expected to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions compared to their fossil-based equivalents.
The Smart Foams research project at Aalto University uses artificial intelligence to develop wood-based foams. Wood-based foam materials can replace Styrofoam and bubble wrap in packaging, for example. The researchers strive to optimize the properties of the foam. A mixture of lignin, wood fibre and laponite (nanoclay), for example, can be processed into shock and heat resistant foam and used instead of plastic.
Lignin is the compound that binds wood fibres together. As a dried foam it is hard and water resistant and even conducts electricity.
Plastic Energy and ExxonMobil have been developing plans since 2018. A final investment decision is expected in mid-2021 with startup anticipated in 2023. The plan demonstrates how industry, government and consumers can work together to build a more circular system to capture value from post-use plastic.
Braskem is expanding its production capacity of green ethylene, the main feedstock derived from sugarcane ethanol. Bioethanol is used in the production of renewable resins, such as polyethylene and ethylene vinyl acetate copolymer (EVA). These materials can claim to capture CO2. This raw material is produced at the company’s plant in Triunfo, Rio Grande do Sul. The plant’s capacity will be increased to 260 kton/year. Ten years ago Braskem started with 200 kt capacity for biobased polyethylene.This was complemented by EVA production in 2018.
ADM Ventures, the venture capital arm of ADM is pouring money into a start-up making meat from elements of the air. The California-based company Air Protein combines carbon dioxide, oxygen and nitrogen with water and minerals in a probiotic production process that converts the elements into nutrients. ADM one of the world’s largest agricultural commodity traders.
DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences and Kemira announced an exclusive partnership for the development and commercialization of DuPont’s enzymatic polymerization-based polysaccharide platform technology. The collaboration will bring new, biobased and inherently biodegradable product lines to Kemira’s strategic markets.