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.
Braskem, the largest producer of thermoplastic resins in the Americas, and the GPA Group, Brazil’s largest retail chain, will be recycling 60 metric tons of plastic every year to produce the new packaging of the Qualitá stain remover, an exclusive brand marketed at the Extra and Pão de Açúcar stores, across Brazil.
Bolloré, the French pioneer in ultra-thin packaging, launched the first ultrathin packaging shrink film on a basis of green polyethylene called B-Nat®.
“Biotech is becoming increasingly important to the mainstream chemical industry as the demand for more sustainable solutions intensifies. Biotech is especially well-suited to help with some of the industry’s biggest challenges”. To say it – in this exclusive interview with Il Bioeconomista – is Christophe Schilling, founder and CEO of Genomatica, a widely-recognized bioengineering leader for the chemical industry. The San Diego-based biotechnology company develops and licenses bio-based manufacturing processes for the production of intermediate and basic chemicals.
Since being named CEO in May 2009, Christophe Schilling has led Genomatica to widespread recognition as a leader in industrial biotechnology, with a commercialized first process, top-tier licensees, strong investors and an unrivaled string of awards for engineering (Kirkpatrick), science (EPA Presidential Green Chemistry), industry leadership (voted #1 Hottest three years in a row by Biofuels Digest), and company culture (The Scientist as a Best Place to Work). Schilling frequently speaks on industry trends at major conferences and serves as a member of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Biotechnology.
Interview by Mario Bonaccorso
“At the moment biobased is seen as a niche alternative. It’s well-respected and is seen to be developing in the right way, but it hasn’t achieved the market penetration to be considered a genuine competitor to the conventional industry – yet. For me, it’s all about reaching that ‘tipping point’. Many stars must align for this to happen, but we’re quite positive that they will in due course”. To say this – in this exclusive interview with Il Bioeconomista – is Henri Colens, Public Affairs Manager, Renewable Chemicals, at Braskem Europe, the European subsidiary of the Brazilian petrochemical giant. With Colens we talk about bioeconomy and circular economy. “The bioeconomy – he says – is a way of harnessing the power of nature in order to create more sustainable products and processes. We all need to work harder on raising public awareness, so that citizens understand what we are doing and the potential of the bioeconomy.”
Interview by Mario Bonaccorso
The bioeconomy is innovation, the result of the skills and passion of researchers and managers able to create value and new high-qualified jobs. At the end of 2014 Il Bioeconomista launched a new initiative: The 10 Most Innovative Bioeconomy CEOs. We ask a panel of world bioeconomy experts to tell us the Chief Executive Officers that have stood out as the most innovative during the last year.
This is the result in 2015:
Tetra Pak, the world leader in food processing and packaging solutions, headquartered in Sweden, announced that all of the packages it produces in Brazil are now using bio-based low-density polyethylene (LDPE). Combined with paperboard, the use of bio-based LDPE made from sugar cane increases the content of materials from renewable sources to as much as 82% in a Tetra Brik Aseptic 1000ml Base package, the world’s best selling carton package range for beverages.
Braskem, the largest petrochemical producer in the Americas and the world’s leading biopolymer producer, and Genomatica, a U.S. biotechnology company, have signed an agreement for the joint development of a new technology for the production of butadiene from renewable feedstocks. Through this partnership, Braskem reaffirms its commitment to invest in the research of producing chemicals from renewable feedstocks, effectively strengthening its leadership role in this segment.
The bio-based revolution extends to the carton packaging industry. In a first for this field, Tetra Pak, the Swedish multinational giant with net sales in 2012 of 11.15 billion euros, plans to sign an agreement with Braskem, the largest thermoplastic resins producer in the Americas, for the supply of low-density polyethylene (LDPE) made from sugar cane to its packaging material factories in Brazil.