Former AC Milan and France midfielder Mathieu Flamini is a bioeconomy’s supporter. He has revealed that he is one of the people behind GFBiochemicals, a bio-based company that has developed a process to produce levulinic acid on an industrial scale.
In an interview with the Sun on Sunday, the 31-year-old Arsenal player, who has played over 150 times for the club and won the Italian league championship in 2004, said that his company GF Biochemicals has become the first in the world to produce levulinic acid at commercial scale directly from biomass and enter a market that could be worth £20 billion.
Last July, GFBiochemicals started commercial production at its 10,000 MT/a capacity levulinic acid plant in Caserta, Italy. The company was founded in 2008, with offices in Milan, Italy and Geleen, the Netherlands.
It uses breakthrough technology to commercialize levulinic acid – a valuable biobased building block for specialty chemicals and materials.
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.
“To me – Flamini told the Sun – it was an escape. A football career is made of ups and downs. It cleared my mind and helped me to think about something different. And it was something intellectually challenging too.”