Leaf Resources, is a renewable energy company which has recently joined forces with Novozymes to launch a biomass-to-sugars operation. This partnership has evolved to further increase the yields and efficiency associated with Leaf Resources’ biomass conversion technology. As part of the collaboration, Novozymes will use its expertise in biotechnology to customise its broad portfolio of robust, high-yielding enzymes to the glycell process which is Leaf Resources’ technology. This strategic business move aims to design a highly tailored enzyme package that allows the glycell process to achieve superior performance, quality, and reliability for the production of high-value renewable chemicals.
Leaf Resources ( @ ) is an Australian firm which has moved ahead of the sustainable change. Four years ago the renewable chemical company was established to create sustainable products from plant biomass. They have commercialised Glycell, which is an innovative technology to generate industrial sugars from plant biomass. Bio-Based World News recently carried out an interview with the COO Alex Baker who advises that bio-based businesses must have “economic relativity to what the market and the industry is calling for. If the two are matched together then it is bound to deliver results. If you believe you have a super solution but there is no market for your product then it has no meaning. So it is important to be realistic about what you can achieve in the bio-based space.”
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According to the recent collaboration, Novozymes could be the company to deliver these improved results for Leaf Resources. The company is the world leader in biological solutions. It produces a wide range of industrial enzymes and microorganisms to provide innovative answers to some of the world’s challenges. These solutions can help improve industrial manufacturing processes by saving energy, water and raw materials, while reducing waste and emissions, and helping make everyday products more sustainable. As the largest provider of enzyme and microbial technologies, their bio-innovation enables higher agricultural yields, low-temperature washing, energy-efficient production and renewable fuel.
This technology can be used to help glycell Leaf Resources’ patented technology which revolutionises the production of sustainable and renewable bio-based products from lignocellulosic biomass. Glycell is a unique combination of well-established process engineering and advanced chemistry. The technology operates at low temperature and pressure and uses crude glycerin as a low cost, recyclable reagent. This process efficiently deconstructs plant biomass and produces a high-yield of high-quality, concentrated cellulose and hemicellulose sugars, which in turn enables cost competitive production of renewable chemicals. Leaf and its development partner, Claeris, LLC, will then incorporate Novozymes’ tailored enzyme package into the biomass pretreatment section of integrated biorefineries.
“The combined scientific expertise of our companies makes it possible to enhance the conversion of biomass to sugars which, when combined with the development expertise of Claeris, will help accelerate the development of renewable chemicals,” says Michael Burns, Head of Biorefining Business Development for North America at Novozymes. “There is a clear move towards sustainable chemical production and we believe the combination of Claeris and the glycell process will help further enable the industry.”
It is hoped that this collaboration will solve some of the challenges that Alex Baker stated in our previous 5 minutes with… “I have found that the biggest challenge we, and I mean the whole of industry, have faced is translating the technology to scale. It is important for us to convince financiers and industrialists that these technologies are valid and will economically perform on scale. We need to achieve success at growing scale points to identify that the renewable industry is meaningful and can deliver results.”
Moving forward in light of this business cooperation looks promising. Ken Richards, Managing Director of Leaf Resources said: “Production trials performed by independent third parties have validated the performance of the glycell process and confirms both the unique nature and economic viability of our process. Our continued work with Claeris and a number of potential production partners confirms the strong interest of all stakeholders in large-scale renewable chemicals production, and we look forward to working with Novozymes to make it a reality.”
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