From Ruka, in Finland, to Turin, in Italy: September will be the month of the bioeconomy. The very first World BioEconomy Forum will be held in Ruka on 11-13 September. The Forum, born as an idea of Jukka Kantola, CEO of NC Partnering and KaiCell Fibers, will bring together professionals from the leading edge of the bioeconomy for face-to-face dialog in one of the world’s most beautiful areas of outstanding natural beauty. In Turin on 27-28 September will be held IFIB, the International Forum on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioeconomy.
LanzaTech, Virgin Atlantic and partners are one-step closer to building the world’s first large scale Alcohol to Jet (ATJ) facility producing commercial quantities of fuel in the UK. The commercial facility would convert low carbon ethanol produced from waste emissions, to jet fuel.
Italian company Saipem signed a Memorandum of Understanding as well as an exclusive agreement with California Ethanol & Power, LLC, for the realisation of a low carbon emission plant for the production of ethanol fuels, electricity from renewable sources, biomethane and other secondary products derived from sugar cane cultivated on site.
Amsterdam-based Avantium, a leading technology development company and forerunner in renewable chemistry, will officially open a pilot biorefinery for its Zambezi technology in Delfzijl, Netherlands. Opening ceremonies will take place in Amsterdam on 10 July and in Delfzijl on 13 July. The province of Groningen is supporting the pilot biorefinery with a RIG (‘Regionale Investeringssteun Groningen’) subsidy of €1.8 million.
“Cascade use and reuse/-cycling are important factors for the success of the bioeconomy, but the products need to be designed in an appropriate way for recycling. For sure, carbon storage in the material is a positive side effect, but I see this more as a leverage to increase competitiveness of bio-based products compared to fossil-based products, e.g. through a CO2tax for fossil-based products”. To say it – in this interview with Il Bioeconomista – is Andreas Kiesel, a researcher at the University of Hohenheim, who is coordinating the BBI JU Demo Project GRACE, “which is demonstrating the feasibility of 10 bio-based value chains for hemp and miscanthus biomass at an industry relevant scale”.
Interview by Mario Bonaccorso
Bio-on, the Italian company operating in the high quality bioplastic sector, yesterday inaugurated its first owned plant designed to produce 100% natural and biodegradable special PHAs bioplastics for high added value niche markets, such as the microbeads used in the cosmetics sector.
Scandinavian multinational company Stora Enso opened Europe’s largest wood fibre-based biocomposite plant. The opening ceremony took place last June 4 at the company’s Hylte Mill outside of Halmstad in South-west Sweden, and was attended by more than 150 guests. Stora Enso’s investment of €12 million in a biocomposite plant is part of the company’s ongoing process of becoming a renewable materials company. It aims at showing that Stora Enso is a leader in the bioeconomy, with the ability to provide innovative, more sustainable alternatives to plastic.
BASF Venture Capital is to invest in LanzaTech, a biotech company headquartered in Chicago (USA). Using special microbes, LanzaTech has developed a technology for gas fermentation that first enables ethanol to be produced from residual gases containing carbon monoxide and hydrogen. By re-using waste streams instead of incinerating them, industrial companies can reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
“The future of the chemical industry is the global migration to chemicals and chemical processes that improve the environmental impact of chemicals and reduce the negative health effects associated with chemicals and their production”. To say it in this exclusive interview with Il Bioeconomista is Virginia Klausmeier, founder and CEO of Sylvatex, the California-based company which has developed a renewable nano-chemistry platform that has applications in solutions for industry processing, materials stability, and fuels.
Interview by Mario Bonaccorso
There is a new company in the world bioeconomy: Metsä Spring Ltd, the new innovation company established by Metsä Group. The company will, together with partner organisations, invest in new endeavours with the target to identify and develop new business opportunities in sustainable forest-based bioeconomy and circular economy. Niklas von Weymarn has been appointed CEO of the company. He transferred to Metsä Spring from the position of VP, Research in Metsä Fibre, also part of Metsä Group. The office of Metsä Spring is in the heart of the internationally-acknowledged Otaniemi innovation campus in Espoo, Finland. The establishment of the new innovation company – the Finnish multinational company underlines – does not affect the current research and development activities of Metsä Group’s current business areas.