Carlsberg Group and Dutch biochemical company Avantium agreed to take the next step in the commercialisation of PEF. The Danish Group signed a conditional offtake agreement with Avantium to secure a fixed volume of the 100% plant-based, recyclable and high-performance polymer PEF (polyethylene furanoate) from Avantium’s FDCA Flagship Plant, which Avantium aims to start-up in 2024. Carlsberg will use the PEF resin for various packaging applications, including its Fibre Bottle – the bio-based and fully recyclable beer bottle.
I met Mathieu Flamini in Milano during the Design Week. Milano is vibrant again after the dark years of the pandemic. AC Milan won the championship, eleven years after the last success of which Mathieu was one of the architects. We do not talk about football, also because I cheer for the other team based in Milano. I am totally black and blue and I can’t share his joy for the AC Milan’s Scudetto. We talk about the bioeconomy, starting from his new role as CEO of GFBiochemicals, which he is enthusiastic about. Mathieu is a friend, so I immediately declare that this is a somewhat unusual interview. With Mathieu we talk about the need to accelerate on the path of the paradigm shift that leads us from fossils to the use of renewable biological sources, the importance of communicating the damages produced by industrial activity on the environment in order to promote sustainable solutions, the role of the sport’s world in a campaign that highlights the contradictions of a development model based on profit at all costs and the waste of resources.
Novozymes, world’s leading industrial biotech company, and AgroFresh, a global leader in post-harvest freshness solutions, are forming a research and commercialization partnership towards developing biological solutions that can improve post-harvest food quality and minimize waste by fighting fungal pathogens. Resulting products, which will be developed for post-harvest applications, will benefit growers, retailers, and consumers, as well as the environment.
Suzano, the world’s largest hardwood pulp producer and a global reference in developing sustainable and innovative solutions from renewable sources, launched Suzano Ventures, a global corporate venture capital initiative. It will invest US$70 million in a range of businesses with the potential to revolutionize their sector and beyond, by addressing some of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges. The initiative will focus on companies operating within at least one of four bioeconomy applications: improving the measurement and management of carbon sequestration, accelerating and maximizing agroforestry yield, developing new technologies and applications for pulp biomass, and creating more efficient pulp packaging from renewable sources.
After announcing its €15 million Serie A funding round, the sustainable chemical company GFBiochemicals entered into an agreement with German chemical giant BASF. Specifically, BTC Europe GmbH, BASF’s European distribution organization, and NXTLEVVEL Biochem, a joint venture and manufactoring arm of GFBiochemicals, signed an agreement on the distribution of biobased and biodegradable solvents derived from levulinic acid for the European market.
A consortium, including LanzaTech and Danone, led to the discovery of a new route to monoethylene glycol, (MEG), which is a key building block for polyethylene terephthalate, (PET), resin, fibers and bottles. The technology converts carbon emissions from steel mills or gasified waste biomass directly into MEG. The carbon capture technology uses a proprietary engineered bacterium to convert carbon emissions directly into MEG through fermentation, bypassing the need for an ethanol intermediate, and simplifying the MEG supply chain. The direct production of MEG was proven at laboratory scale and the presence of MEG was confirmed by two external laboratories.
The US is ordering refiners to boost the use of biofuels such as corn-based ethanol, as the Biden administration tries to strike a balance between competing political and economic pressures while gasoline prices soar.
The upcoming Bonn Climate Change Conference (6-16 June) is set to kick off next week, designed to prepare for the UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) in November of this year. COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, will build on the positive outcome of last year’s UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, which finalized operational details of the Paris Agreement and identified work going forward in the key areas of mitigation, adaptation, support – particularly finance – and loss and damage.
The US bioeconomy takes a step forward. Genomatica, Cargill, HELM and Qore completed a groundbreaking ceremony in Eddyville, Iowa, to celebrate the construction of the first, bio-1,4-butanediol (BDO) facility to be built in the U.S. and the second bio BDO commercial scale plantfor Geno. It’s a major milestone for biotech to supply more sustainable materials to meet surging consumer demand, while advancing manufacturing right in America’s heartland.
Circa and Valmet have signed a Heads of Agreement to realise and optimise the Furacell™ production process at scale through the ReSolute project and future large-scale plants. Valmet will be the main process technology and equipment supplier, and actively contribute to accelerating the development of Circa’s large-scale production plants. The cooperation considerably strengthens Circa’s ability to build and deliver its plan to become a large-scale producer of sustainable biochemicals.