ExxonMobil, the largest publicly traded petroleum and petrochemical enterprise in the world, and Synthetic Genomics Inc., a global leader in the fields of synthetic biology and synthetic genomics, achieved a breakthrough in joint research into advanced biofuels involving the modification of an algae strain that more than doubled its oil content without significantly inhibiting the strain’s growth.
Bioindustrial Innovation Canada (BIC) has made a COMM SCI (Centre for Commercialization of Sustainable Chemistry Innovation) investment, whose amount wasn’t disclosed, in Origin Materials through BIC’s Sustainable Chemistry Alliance (SCA) investment fund, as part of an investment round that will see Origin construct its first commercial scale demonstration facility in Sarnia (Ontario) by late 2018.
“GRowing Advanced industrial Crops on marginal lands for biorEfineries” (GRACE): this is the name of the BBI demonstration project under the coordination of the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart (Germany) and with a unique consortium made up of universities, agricultural companies and industry. The aims will be achieved by knowledge exchange between these groups, together with new crop varieties and cultivation experiments on areas that have been polluted by heavy metals, for example, or are unattractive for food production due to lower yields.
Finnish Neste is focusing its raw materials research on waste plastics as a substitute for crude oil in the manufacture of oil products. The idea of “one’s waste is a valuable raw material to another” is central to the circular economy, and, for over a decade, it has inspired Neste’s development and production of renewable fuels. The company headquartered in Espoo already produces enough Neste MY Renewable Diesel, produced of waste and residues, to power more than two million cars for a year. This will enable Neste’s customers to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by almost 7 million tons this year. Underpinning this progress is the company’s patented NEXBTL technology for refining low-quality waste fats into high-quality, fully renewable fuel. The same technology can be used to produce other renewable products also, such as renewable aviation fuel and raw material for bioplastics.
Covestro, the leading supplier of high-tech polymers headquartered in Leverkusen, Germany, has scored a research breakthrough for the use of plant-based raw materials in plastics production: aniline, an important basic chemical, can now be derived from biomass. The German materials manufacturer achieved this by collaborating with partners on the development of a completely new process, initially in the laboratory. Until now, only fossil raw materials had been used for the production of aniline, which plays an important role in the chemical industry and is used as starting material for numerous products.
Finnish company KaiCell Fibers completed a technical-commercial feasibility study (FS), mainly delivered by CTS Engtec Oy, and now is ready for the next steps towards making the biorefinery in Paltamo, northeast Finland, a reality.
The bioplastics industry moves another step forward: the European PET Bottle Platform (EPBP) – a voluntary initiative of industry organizations representing waste collectors, plastic recyclers, PET material producers and brand owners – has given interim approval for the recyclability of polyethylenefuranoate (PEF), produced by Synvina, the Joint Venture between Avantium and Basf, in the European bottle recycling market.
Bio-lutions, Paptic and Phytowelt GreenTechnologies. The Innovation Award “Bio-based Material of the Year 2017” was awarded to these three innovative companies for their materials in specific applications. The competition focused on new developments in the bio-based economy, which have had (or will have) a market launch in 2016 or 2017. The winners were elected by the participants of the 10th International Conference on Bio-based Materials in Cologne, Germany.
Amyris, Inc., the U.S. industrial bioscience company, and Koninklijke DSM N.V. (Royal DSM), the Dutch global science-based company active in health, nutrition and materials, have agreed for DSM to make an equity investment in Amyris. At the same time, the companies will enter into a development cooperation focused on products for the global health and nutrition markets (including vitamins and other nutritional ingredients).
Bolloré, the French pioneer in ultra-thin packaging, launched the first ultrathin packaging shrink film on a basis of green polyethylene called B-Nat®.