We receive and publish with pleasure this contribution sent by professor Olli Dahl (Aalto University, Finland), who presents a list of all the main investments and their products in Finnish bioeconomy, and considers whether the country’s forest resources can cope with so much new potential capacity in the forest industry sector.
The U.S. bioeconomy moves forward (despite of Trump). The University of Arizona has received a five-year grant of up to $15 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to lead a new center focusing on the mass production of biofuels and bioproducts in the Southwestern U.S.
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.
The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), a public-private partnership between global energy and engineering companies and the UK Government. launched a new biomass feedstock improvement process project which aims to show how the removal of impurities and contaminated material from sustainable biomass could make bioenergy cheaper and more efficient, consequently delivering better greenhouse gas savings.
The Italian biochemical company GFBiochemicals and Atlanta-based American Process Inc., which is specialized in the development of technologies for the commercial production of sugars and ethanol from biomass, have entered into a joint development agreement to create the largest integrated cellulosic biorefinery in the world. “The agreement – both companies stated – is rooted in our complementary industrial operations and joint vision for a lower-carbon future”. The proposed biorefinery, located in the U.S, is expected to create 50-200 thousand tonnes per annum of bio-based products, addressing markets with a potential annual value of USD 10 billion.
The South African Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has approved four NexSteppe sorghum hybrids for commercial sale in country. Approved hybrids include both Malibu sweet sorghum and Palo Alto biomass sorghum hybrids. NexSteppe is a US company dedicated to pioneering the next generation of scalable, reliable, cost-effective and sustainable feedstock solutions for the biofuels, biopower, biogas and biobased products industries.
Leaf Resources, the Australian company which is focused on making sustainable products from plant biomass, today announced a collaboration with Novozymes, the world’s largest producer of industrial enzymes, to further increase the yields and efficiency associated with Leaf Resources’ innovative biomass conversion technology, Glycell, which is a unique combination of well-established process engineering and advanced chemistry.
“The government is working on a national bioeconomy strategy, which started with our new federal government attending the COPS meeting in Paris. Discussions and consultations are now taking place with the provinces and the Canadian public with the intent to have a federal strategy in draft form later this year.” To say it – in this long exclusive interview with Il Bioeconomista – is Murray McLaughlin, executive director of Bioindustrial Innovation Canada, who was recognized in the top 100 global leaders in the Advanced Bioeconomy at Biofuels Digest Conference in Washington, 2016. With him we talk about bioeconomy in Canada, climate change, biomass, Green public procurement, carbon tax and other policies. Murray McLaughlin has held various positions in the private, government and non-profit sectors such as director of Business Development for the Canadian Light Source, president of Ontario Agri-Food Technologies, deputy minister of Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food, and president of Ag-West Biotech Inc. He co-chairs the Industrial Bioproducts Value Chain Roundtable which is a partnership between Industry and AAFC for the bioeconomy. He is a graduate of Nova Scotia Agricultural College, McGill (B. Sc. Agr.) and Cornell (MSC and PhD), and has an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Dalhousie University.
Interview by Mario Bonaccorso
The Energy Technologies Institute is seeking partners for a new bioenergy project which aims to improve understanding of the future of biomass logistics in the UK.
The ETI is a public-private partnership between global energy and engineering companies, such as BP and Shell, and the UK Government. Its role is to act as a conduit between academia, industry and the government to accelerate the development of low carbon technologies. It brings together engineering projects that develop affordable, secure and sustainable technologies to help the UK address its long term emissions reductions targets as well as delivering nearer term benefits.
“Outside of Brazil, today Europe has the most existing infrastructure, some of the most developed technologies and the most favorable policy supporting the bioeconomy. However, theoretical concerns about land use are being allowed undue sway, which makes the outlook uncertain. Climate change deniers are having a similar effect in America. In contrast, China is showing singular resolve in its commitment to climate and carbon”. To say it – in this interview with Il Bioeconomista – is Anna Rath, founder and Ceo of NexSteppe, the U.S. company dedicated to pioneering the next generation of scalable, reliable, cost-effective feedstock solutions for the biofuels, biopower and biobased products industries. Using advanced breeding techniques and cutting-edge analytical technologies, NexSteppe is developing Malibu sweet sorghum and Palo Alto biomass sorghum to produce feedstocks tailored for these biobased industries. With Anna we talk about biomass and bioeconomy at a Global level.
Interview by Mario Bonaccorso