EFIB 2013: Brussels world capital of the bioeconomy from 30 September to 2 October

square-brussels-cube-by-dayEuropaBio, The European Association for bio-industries, and Smithers Rapra unveil highly-anticipated agenda for the European Forum for Industrial Biotechnology (EFIB) from 1-2 October 2013 taking place in the heart of Brussels at SQUARE. Officially launched by Elio di Rupo, Prime Minister of Belgium, EFIB’s opening plenary brings together a host of keynote speakers including Rudolf Strohmeier, Deputy Director General R&I at the European Commission; Maria da Graça Carvalho, Rapporteur on Horizon 2020 in the European Parliament and CEOs of Ecover and Galactic. Followed by exciting partnership perspectives from the Plant PET Technology Collaborative and a session lead by Ian Hudson, President of DuPont EMEA, examining the triggers for big business to make the shift towards the biobased economy. All speakers set the scene for another outstanding year, and transform the event from conference to congress.

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Cereplast announces new bioplastic resin grade with 51% algae biomass

Seymour-plant-CereplastCereplast, Inc., a leading manufacturer of proprietary biobased, compostable and sustainable bioplastics, has announced a new bioplastic resin grade Biopropylene(R) A150D, an injection molding grade manufactured with 51% post-industrial algae biomass.

The post-industrial algae grade is the first offering with 51% algae content and will be commercially available this quarter. Additionally, the biomass content dramatically reduces the carbon footprint of the final product while reducing the petroleum-based plastic content. Biopropylene A150D has low to no odor due to the discovery of a post-industrial process that significantly reduces the distinctive smell that is inherent to algae biomass.

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In EU Synpol project aims at converting waste into bioplastics

only plasticsWaste can be base of new bioplastics. There are many waste resources hidden in our communities. Municipal solid waste (MSW), agricultural residues and sewage sludge from water treatment plants contains lots of reusable carbon fractions. To recover them means recovering a valuable product as well as preserving the environment. The European Commission is working in order to develop the Synpol (“Biopolymers from syngas fermentation”) project, that is funded under the Food, agriculture and fisheries, and biotechnology Theme of the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) to the tune of € 7.5 million.

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New enzyme reduces the cost of cellulosic sugar production for biofuels and bio-based chemicals

codexis in singaporeCodexis, Inc., a developer of engineered enzymes for pharmaceutical, biofuel and chemical production, announced during the World Biofuels Conference in Rotterdam (The Netherlands) the launch of CodeXyme 4 and CodeXyme 4X cellulase enzyme packages for use in producing cellulosic sugar for production of biofuels and bio-based chemicals.

Codexis’ latest generation of advanced cellulase enzymes, CodeXyme4 for dilute acid pretreatments and CodeXyme 4X for hydrothermal pretreatments, exhibits excellent performance, converting up to 85% of available fermentable sugars at high biomass and low enzyme loads. Combined with high strain productivity using the CodeXporter enzyme production system, this allows for a cost-in-use that the company believes will be among the lowest available once in full-scale commercial production.

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Guayule-based natural rubber materials for Pirelli’s tire production

pirelliVersalis (Eni) and Pirelli have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to kick off a joint research project for the use of guayule-based natural rubber in tire production.

The research project will run over a period of three years. On an exclusivity basis, Versalis will provide an innovative range of guayule-based natural rubber materials, while Pirelli will carry out trial tests to validate the performance of the materials for tire production.

As soon as new industrial quantities become available, Versalis will supply Pirelli with guayule-based natural rubber to complement the current set of synthetic rubber that Versalis is already supplying to Pirelli for the production of conventional tires.


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The thistle, a new resource for the bioeconomy

thistleFrom thistle a new era for the agricultural and industrial value chains. An innovative business model, which combines the industrial needs of Matrica, a joint venture between Versalis-Eni and Novamont, with those of farmers located  in northern Sardinia. An agro industrial relationship model, aimed at creating a integrated value chain rooted in the territory in synergy with local biodiversity. These the key issues discussed last Monday in Porto Torres at the second technical meeting on thistle which was attended by numerous high level representatives of the Sardinian agricultural world and by representatives of research and local institutions, including the mayor of Porto Torres, Beniamino Scarpa, and the dean of the University of Sassari, Attilio Mastino.

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Bioplastics made from algae: Cereplast incorporates Algaeplast

cereplastNew transaction in the field of bioplastics. Cereplast, a leading US manufacturer of proprietary biobased, compostable and sustainable bioplastics, that since 1996 has the exclusive North American distribution rights to Novamont’s Mater-Bi resins, has announced the incorporation of a new wholly owned subsidiary, Algaeplast, Inc.

Algaeplast’ s focus will be the development and manufacture of algae-based bioplastics. Cereplast has been a pioneer in algae-based plastics, helping to bring the first products made from Cereplast Algae Bioplastics grades to market in 2011, and with the recent commercialization of Biopropylene 109D in December of 2012.

Cereplast introduced the concept in late 2009, with a target of reaching a bioplastic made from 50% algae bio-content. Algaeplast’s ultimate goal is to bring to market new polymers made from 100% algae content. Recently, the Company commercialized small quantities of Biopropylene 109D, a compound with 20% post-industrial algae biomatter. The research and development team is currently developing a grade with a higher percentage of algae bio-content. Based on customer interest, the company has determined that the demand for bioplastics made from algae is significant, and therefore has created Algaeplast, which will focus on this new sector. Algaeplast has been created to develop a new monomer and polymers made from algae.

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Global Bioplastics market is expected to reach US$7.7 billion by 2016

mater-bi-03In Ireland Research & Markets reports that Global Bioplastics market is expected to reach US$7.7 billion by 2016 at a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 24.3%, globally. Region-wise analysis shows that Asia-Pacific is forecasted to record the highest growth rate of 25.7% during the analysis period 2011-2016. The Americas follows Asia-Pacific with a CAGR of 25.2%. Europe forecasts to drive with a growth rate of 23.5%. Volume based studies reveal that Europe is expected to overcome Asia-Pacific region in terms of the growth rate. Poly esters and Poly olefins are expected to drive the growth. Among the end-users, electronic and electrical industries are expected to have a better support over packaging industry.

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Exclusive interview with European Commissioner Màire Geoghegan-Quinn: “We must prepare ourselves for a post-petroleum society”

european commissioner maire geoghegan-quinn

“Europe and the rest of the world must cope with an expected 70 per cent increase in food demand, and a 100 per cent increase in energy demand, by 2050. Under these circumstances, we must prepare ourselves for a ‘post-petroleum’ society, one in which we use our natural resources more sustainably”. In this exclusive interview European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Màire Geoghegan-Quinn, talks about bioeconomy and European policies to support it. And tells us that “The Italian government is aware of the benefits of a coordinated bioeconomy strategy and expressed interest in possibly hosting the annual Bioeconomy Stakeholders Conference in Italy in 2014”.

Interview by Mario Bonaccorso

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Il secondo mandato di Obama è bio-based

secondo mandato obamaBarack Obama ha giurato per il suo secondo mandato. Nel discorso inaugurale pronunciato a Washington ha toccato tutti i temi del dibattito politico americano: economia, sanità, cambiamenti climatici (un punto su cui ha insistito molto e che invece era rimasto in secondo piano durante la campagna elettorale), armi da fuoco, diritti civili di donne, gay, immigrati e minoranze. “L’America è in ripresa, un decennio di guerre sta finendo, l’economia sta ripartendo. Ora più che mai dobbiamo agire insieme come una nazione, un popolo. Le nostre possibilità sono illimitate”.

Saranno quattro anni in cui l’America cercherà di spingere sull’acceleratore della ripresa economica. E a contribuire alla spinta sarà certamente il piano della Casa Bianca per la bioeconomia. A sottolineare quanto Obama crede alle enormi potenzialità dell’economia bio-based  è arrivata nei giorni scorsi la sua scelta di confermare capo del Dipartimento dell’Agricoltura, Tom Vilsack, uno dei pochi ad essersi salvato dalle modifiche apportate dal presidente al suo secondo gabinetto.

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