“Transitioning towards a circular bioeconomy is a fundamental step. But new markets, products and sustainable value chains will need to be created.” To say it – in this exclusive interview with Il Bioeconomista – is Marc Palahí, director of EFI (European Forest Institute). He talks with us after his business trip to China.
LanzaTech, and its joint venture partner, Shougang Group, a leading Chinese iron and steel producer, announced the successful start-up of the world’s first commercial facility converting industrial emissions to sustainable ethanol. The facility, located at the Jingtang Steel Mill in Caofeidian in Hebei Province, began operations on May 3.
The output of China’s biological industry is expected to reach 10 trillion yuan (1.5 trillion U.S. dollars) in 2022. The compound annual growth rate of the bio-industry in China has been over 15 percent since 2011, according to a white paper on the industry jointly released by Tianjin Institute of Industrial Biotechnology and Chengdu Library and Information Center, both affiliated with Chinese Academy of Sciences.
LiqTech International, a US listed technology company headquartered in Denmark, which for the last 11 years has been at the leading edge in developing and marketing its own proprietary products to the environmental industry, entered into a Letter of Intent to supply a $1.8 million filtration system for a 100,000 tons per year bioethanol plant to be located in Harbin, Heilongjiang, China. The Letter of intent is subject to execution of definitive documents and financing of the project from a Chinese Investment bank. The filtration system is based on the company´s ceramic membranes and its newly developed Reverse Osmosis systems.
The bioeconomy speaks Chinese. Cathay Industrial Biotech, a Chinese leading privately-held industrial biotechnology company focused on producing specialty bio-based chemicals, announced a ground-breaking and agreement signing to initiate a significant expansion in their production capability for bio-produced long chain dibasic acids (LCDA) and ground-breaking of production facility for bio-pentanediamine (DN5), and bio-polyamide (bio-PA).
Evonik expands its green venture capital activities into Asia. The German company announced last Thursday an investment in the Chinese venture capital fund GRC SinoGreen Fund III (GRC III). The parties agreed to not disclose the amount of the investment. As a result, the company is now represented in the most important venture capital regions of North America, Europe, and Asia. GRC invests in private, green technology companies with unique strengths and substantial growth potential in Greater China. Target sectors include energy and resource efficiency, cleaner transportation, sustainability, and climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Enerkem Inc., a Canadian waste-to-biofuels and chemicals producer, last week signed an agreement with Qingdao City Construction Investment Group Co. Ltd., to develop a project partnership to jointly build a municipal solid waste-to-biofuels facility in Qingdao, China. In this new project partnership, Enerkem will license its exclusive technology to convert local urban waste from China into biofuels and chemicals.
The municipality of Shanghai in China plans to turn recycled cooking oil, some of it seized by authorities, into an environmental asset by converting it into fuel for vehicles.
The country has been rocked by a series of food safety scandals including the re-use of waste oil recycled from restaurants and called “gutter oil”, a term used in China to describe illicit cooking oil which has been recycled from waste oil collected from sources such as restaurant fryers, drains, grease traps and slaughterhouse waste. Processed gutter oil is expected to be used as bus fuel within two years , as part of efforts to advance a circular economy and prevent recycled cooking oil from returning to the kitchen.