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.
The BMW Group has chosen to use BASF Coatings’ CathoGuard® 800 ReSource e-coat at its plants in Leipzig, Germany, and Rosslyn, South Africa, and the iGloss® matt ReSource clearcoat throughout Europe. Using these more sustainable product versions for vehicle coatings enables CO2 avoidance of around 40% per coating layer; this will reduce the amount of CO2 emitted in the plants by more than 15,000 metric tons by 2030.
BRAIN Biotech AG and Formo Bio GmbH launched a strategic collaboration to further advance the production of animal-free milk proteins. BRAIN Biotech is a leading industrial biotechnology company, Formo is a pioneering food-tech startup in the space of alternative milk protein. As experts in their field, the two German biotech companies are powering European innovation.
UPM Biochemicals and KRAHN Chemie Deutschland GmbH signed an exclusive distribution agreement to market UPM BioMotion Renewable Functional Fillers (RFF) in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. RFF are a completely new category of functional fillers, replacing fossil-based carbon black and precipitated silica. The distribution agreement covers UPM BioMotion X10, X20 and X40 product grades to be used in plastics, adhesives and sealants as well as paints and coatings.
Elanco Animal Health Incorporated and DSM have created a strategic alliance connecting two leading, sustainability-focused companies to address one of society’s most significant opportunities of the decade, mitigating climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from farming. Elanco has secured the exclusive U.S. licensing rights to develop, manufacture and commercialize Bovaer® for beef and dairy cattle. Bovaer® is a first-in-class and best-in-class methane-reducing innovative feed additive for beef and dairy cattle, already available in Europe, Brazil, Chile and Australia. More than 50 peer-reviewed studies and 48 on-farm trials in 14 countries show Bovaer® consistently reduces enteric methane emissions by approximately 30% for dairy cows and even higher percentages for beef cattle.
Prof. Dr. Iris Lewandowski. Courtesy of University of Hohenheim
Iris Lewandowski is one of the leading people of the European bioeconomy. In July 2018, she was appointed Chief Bioeconomy Officer (CBO) of the University of Hohenheim. Presently, she is Scientific Speaker of the European Bioeconomy University (EBU), an alliance of six leading European Universities in the field of the knowledge-based bioeconomy, dedicated to cooperation in bioeconomy education, research and knowledge transfer. She is also co-chair of the German Bioeconomy Council and co-chair of the Baden-Württemberg federal government’s advisory board “Sustainable Bioeconomy”. In this interview with Il Bioeconomista she talks about bioeconomy at German and European level and about the BBI JU demo project GRACE, which she is coordinating.
Refuel Energy Inc. (Refuel) will construct a 3000 barrels per day renewable fuel plant in Southern Ontario, Canada. The proposed project, called Refuel YYZ, would supply the aviation and terrestrial fuel needs of the Greater Toronto area, home to 6 million Canadians, while lowering the CO2 emissions for the end users by up to 80%. It is also strategically located for exporting to the US Northeast.
Bridgestone Americas, a global leader in tires and sustainable mobility solutions, signed an exclusive partnership with Carbon Capture and Transformation (CCT) company LanzaTech NZ to address end-of-life tire waste. The two companies will co-develop the first dedicated end-of-life tire recycling process leveraging LanzaTech’s proprietary CCT technology, creating a pathway toward tire material circularity and the decarbonization of new tire production.
Canadian company Enerkem, a world leader in the production of low-carbon intensity biofuels and circular chemicals from waste materials, closed a new financing totaling $255 million. Repsol invests $170 million, of which $75 million is in Enerkem’s equity and $95 million in convertible debt. In doing so, Repsol joins existing shareholder Suncor Energy as a strategic shareholder to accelerate the adoption and deployment of Enerkem’s technology and to develop new projects in the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal). In addition, Monarch Alternative Capital, a new investor, is contributing $30 million to the round while Avenue Capital Group is reinvesting $30 million, both in convertible debt. Finally, there is $25 million reinvested in equity by some existing shareholders.