Biobased chemical company GFBiochemicals has started commercial production at its 10,000 MT/a capacity levulinic acid plant in Caserta, Italy. The announcement was made at the BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology in Montréal (Canada). GFBiochemicals is the first company to produce levulinic acid at commercial scale directly from biomass.
“Caserta is now the world’s largest operational production plant for levulinic acid,” said Chief Commercial Officer Marcel van Berkel. “A fundamentally lower price range is now possible using our unique technology. This will give access to previously undiscovered market segments.”
Maxim Katinov, Ceo of the company, said that “GFBiochemicals has successfully achieved a substantial milestone – the start-up of commercial-scale production. I would like to praise and thank our engineering and R&D teams who have clearly demonstrated the company’s ability to deliver results on schedule.”
GFBiochemicals was founded in 2008. It uses breakthrough technology to commercialize levulinic acid – a valuable biobased building block for specialty chemicals and materials. With offices in Milan, Italy and Geleen, the Netherlands, its commercial-scale production plant is based in Caserta, Italy.
GFBiochemicals leased the Caserta plant in 2009 to demonstrate these breakthrough technologies in partnership with the University of Pisa and the Polytechnic University of Milan. Its commercial-scale plant was retrofitted with new conversion, recovery and purification technology.