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.
Amyris, the U.S. industrial bioscience company, and the Government of Queensland, Australia, announced the next step their plans to develop a leading industrial biotechnology hub in Southeast Asia. Plans call for developing a new production plant with support from local partners to produce Amyris’s sugar cane-based ingredient called farnesene, which is used in products including cosmetic emollients, fragrances, nutraceuticals, polymers, and lubricants.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture selected the Safety Equipment Institute – a subsidiary of ASTM International – to manage the certification program that supports labeling thousands of products as “biobased.” The renewal of this five-year contract will mean that more and more people will be able to find and purchase products that are made and packaged using renewable materials.
Danish Dong Energy and Novozymes have agreed that Novozymes will deliver enzymes for the coming REnescience plant in Northwich in the North West of England. It will be the first full-scale bio plant in the world capable of handling household waste by means of enzymes.
Ring binders which are at least 69% bio-based and are USDA Certified Bio-Based Products. To make them is Samsill, one of the world’s largest independently owned manufacturers of solutions which protect, organize, present and transport information and digital accessories. The U.S. company is converting its line of Earth’s Choice ring binders to bio-based materials. The company combined 100% post-consumer recycled chipboard – with plastic containing 25% of Green Polyethylene, a bioplastic made from sugarcane ethanol, a 100% renewable source which promotes the reduction of greenhouse gasses, provided by the Brazilian biochemical giant Braskem, the leading producer of thermoplastic resins in the Americas and the world leader in the production of biopolymers.
The bioeconomy in the Netherlands takes another step forward, bringing together industry and agriculture. AkzoNobel, Dutch leading global paints and coatings company and a major producer of specialty chemicals, and agro-industrial cooperative Royal Cosun have formed a new partnership to develop novel products from cellulose side streams resulting from sugar beet processing.
BASF and Genomatica have expanded the scope of their license agreement for the production of 1,4-butanediol based on renewable feedstock (renewable BDO) using Genomatica’s patented process. The parties added certain countries in Southeast Asia to their initial agreement, which focused on North America.
“Marine biomass has the potential to offer a wide range of biobased products and energy through a biorefinery approach. Many challenges have to be faced (i.e. required technological innovations in both cultivation technology and biomass conversion process technology), but recent literature clearly state that marine biomasses represent the raw material to start new ocean-based bioindustries minimizing the dependence on the terrestrial”. To say it – in this interview with Il Bioeconomista – is Cristina Varese, professor at the University of Turin (Italy) and Scientific Head of the Mycotecha Universitatis Taurinensis (MUT), a collection of about 5300 fungal strains. With her we talk about the role of marine biomass as raw material for the bioeconomy.
Interview by Mario Bonaccorso
Biobased chemical company GFBiochemicals has started commercial production at its 10,000 MT/a capacity levulinic acid plant in Caserta, Italy. The announcement was made at the BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology in Montréal (Canada). GFBiochemicals is the first company to produce levulinic acid at commercial scale directly from biomass.