“The great technological innovation used at Lux-on enables us to increase the industrial sustainability of a new production concept."
Italian bio-plastics company Bio-on and multi-utility company Gruppo Hera will be creating a new joint venture (JV) to develop what they describe as a revolutionary technology to produce bio-polymers from carbon dioxide (CO2). Bio-on will take 90% of the shares in the company and Gruppo Hera will take 10%, with the possibility of the latter increasing its share to 49.9% in the future. The new company will be called ‘Lux-on’.
The innovation developed by the JV aims to revolutionise the production of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) bio-polymers using CO2 captured from the atmosphere and produce energy without using fossil fuels. It will use the CO2 as a zero cost “raw material”, in addition to the materials already used to produce Bio-on bioplastics, which include sugar beet, sugarcane molasses, fruit and potato waste, carbohydrates, glycerol and waste frying oil.
The laboratories and first plant for the new Lux-on JV will be built close to Bio-on’s industrial facility, based in Castel San Pietro Terme, Bologna, Italy, and is expected to be ready by the end of 2019. In addition to this, the electricity used to power the plant will be produced from solar power.
According to Bio-on (@BioOnBioplastic), its PHAs can replace a number of conventional polymers currently made with petrochemical processes using hydrocarbons and can also be “completely eco-sustainable and 100% naturally biodegradable”.
“The great technological innovation used at Lux-on enables us to increase the industrial sustainability of a new production concept,” Bio-on Chairman and CEO Marco Astorri said.
He added: “We are particularly proud to realise humanity’s dream to capture CO2 from the atmosphere and produce innovative materials like our PHAs biopolymer. We are ready to face this new challenge, which will further extend our client base in the coming years, consolidating Italy’s global leadership in high quality bio-polymer production.”
Tomaso Tommasi di Vignano, executive president of Gruppo Hera (@GruppoHera), said: “For Gruppo Hera, which uses innovation and sustainability as the foundations of its multi-utility business taking a share in the new company founded by Bio-on is the representation of a natural coming together of intentions and an alliance that we believe can be developed successfully beyond our territory and across various sectors.”