Australian biotech company Circa Group’s FC5 commercial demonstration plant is now online, paving the way to a regular supply of Circa’s bio-based solvent CyreneⓇ. A joint venture between Circa and Norwegian pulp and paper company Norske Skog, the FC5 plant is located in Tasmania, Australia. Now successfully commissioned and operated end-to-end, FC5 is starting to produce a steady stream of 99% pure CyreneⓇ, a non-toxic solvent made from certified and renewable cellulose waste.
Neste, the Espoo-based world’s leading provider of sustainable renewable diesel and an expert in delivering drop-in renewable chemical solutions, and Clariant, a world leader in specialty chemicals, signed an agreement for a new partnership to join forces in developing and making new sustainable material solutions accessible to a variety of industries.
“You know, the name of our company is Italian. Anello (ring in English) wants to mean the circularity, but also the bond as it is represented by the wedding ring”.
It is very pleasant to talk with David Sudolsky, one of the entrepreneurs who is making the bioeconomy happen at global level. He co-founded Anellotech in 2008, secured the initial angel funding for the company, recruited the management team and scientific advisory board, and is leading the expansion of the company.
The company based in New York develops a technology platform for producing petrochemicals and transportation fuels from renewable non-food biomass.
Interview by Mario Bonaccorso
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a new report on the bioeconomy, “Indicators of the U.S. Biobased Economy”, which measures substantial economic growth, job creation, and household income for the agricultural sector from biofuel and bioenergy production. Moreover, it indicates great potential for additional prosperity from future growth in renewable chemicals and biobased products. BIO, the U.S. Biotechnology Innovation Organization, calculates that the global economic value of the biobased economy – including industrial biotechnology, renewable chemicals and polymers, biofuels, enzymes and biobased materials – is $355.28 billion.
There is a new Brazilian-Danish partnership in the world bioeconomy. Braskem, the Americas’ leading producer of thermoplastic resins, and Danish-based Haldor Topsoe, a world leader in catalysts and surface science, have signed a technological cooperation agreement to develop a pioneering route to produce monoethylene glycol (MEG) from sugar. The agreement calls for the construction of a demonstration plant in Denmark, with operation slated to begin in 2019.
Finnish pulp and paper giant UPM moves forward with the development of biochemicals business by evaluating the potential of building a biorefinery in the Chemical Park Frankfurt-Höchst in Germany. The new-to-the-world biorefinery would combine novel technologies and utilize sustainable wood raw material in an innovative way. This opportunity is the outcome of more than five years of extensive technology development and piloting.
“By taking the time to scale up efficiently and deliberately, our position in the bioeconomy is growing. Circa remains focused on creating non-toxic, high-performance chemicals from cellulose, using our FuracellTM technology. We are targeting a market of over 900,000 tonnes per annum, growing at 4%. While we do not want to compete in the inevitable price war currently unfolding, as companies vie to be ‘last man standing’ to extract some cash out of legacy plants producing these toxic products, we do see plenty of opportunity to sensibly scale into the market over the next 5-10 years”. To say this – in this long, exclusive interview with Il Bioeconomista – is Tony Duncan, CEO of Circa Group, an Australian innovative company which is converting biomass into advanced biochemical materials.
Interview by Mario Bonaccorso
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.
Elevance Renewable Sciences, Inc., a leader in natural oil metathesis that produces novel, high-performing specialty chemicals from renewable feedstocks, partnered with Chemtura, a global specialty chemicals company recently acquired by German Lanxess, for Elevance Aria® WTP technology and market development.
Avantium, a leading chemical technology company and forerunner in renewable chemistry, partnered with AkzoNobel, Chemport Europe, RWE and Staatsbosbeheer for the development of a reference plant at the Chemie Park Delfzijl. This important step marks the next stage of a collaborative effort to determine the feasibility of a wood to chemicals biorefinery in Delfzijl.