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Latest bio-based industry press releases


Booking.com supports research into renewable jet fuel from waste.

By University of Amsterdam.

Dr Shiju Raveendran of the University of Amsterdam's research priority area Sustainable Chemistry has acquired a 150,000 euro grant from Booking.com. He conducts research into the manufacture of renewable jet fuel from food waste and other organic residue.

Dr Raveendran is working on a catalytic process for converting organic waste into sustainable jet fuels. His team has performed preliminary studies on converting waste cellulose to bio-oil in a batch reactor. He will use the funding from Booking.com to extend his research to more types of organic waste and to scale up the experiments. In addition, the project involves the development of a strategy to make consumers aware of waste flows, of emissions from aircraft and of the importance of cleaner fuels and a circular economy. In this part circular economy consultant Sarah Wilkin is involved.

"We are very pleased that the Booking Cares Fund supports our project" says Dr Raveendran, who is associate professor with the Heterogeneous Catalysis and Sustainable Chemistry group at the Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences, and contributor to the UvA's research priority area Sustainable Chemistry. "This is a challenging project. With the support we can take our project to the next level, bringing the production process of sustainable bio jet fuel more closer to a realistic scale." The project will also be supported by Amsterdam Green Campus and AEB Amsterdam, the waste-to-energy and raw materials company.

Air travel is not sustainable

By 2050, international air traffic is forecasted to double, causing an increase in energy consumption and related growth of CO2 emissions. The International Air Transport Association IATA has identified biojet fuel as the most promising strategy to reduce CO2 emissions in the aviation sector. Reductions up to 95% can be achieved with sustainable biofuel. Additionally, the use of biojet fuel will decrease the dependence on fossil fuel, at least partially.

A return flight from London to New York results in an emission that is roughly comparable to heating an average home in EU for a whole year, according to the European Commission. Image: Aamanatullah / Wikimedia.

The approach to producing sustainable jet fuels from organic waste including food waste is still in its infancy. But it has the potential to revolutionize the airline industry, according to Marianne Gybels, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at Booking.com. Via its 'Booking Cares' initiative, Booking.com supports various projects that contribute to the sustainability of the tourism industry. The project team of the UvA is one of the seven winners in the second round of the program that took place at the Booking.com headquarters in Amsterdam earlier this month. Over the course of four days, 13 teams from around the world, selected from over 250 project ideas, were paired with a Booking.com mentor and were challenged to finish off an ambitious project plan to drive innovation in the sustainable tourism industry. 

ExxonMobil and Renewable Energy Group Partner with Clariant to Advance Cellulosic Biofuel Research. 

By Renewable Energy Group (REG) 

  • Partnership to expand on joint ExxonMobil and REG research into cellulosic biodiesel
  • Clariant’s sunliquid® technology to facilitate creation of compatible cellulosic sugars
  • Objective is to combine technologies into a single, integrated biodiesel production process

IRVING, Texas and AMES, Iowa and MUTTENZ, Switzerland, Jan. 23, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- ExxonMobil and Renewable Energy Group (REG) said today that they have signed a joint research agreement with Clariant to evaluate the potential use of cellulosic sugars from sources such as agricultural waste and residues to produce biofuel, which has the potential to play a role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The new partnership expands a previously announced agreement for joint research between ExxonMobil and REG, in which the companies successfully validated the ability of REG Life Sciences bio-conversion technology to convert sugars from cellulosic biomass into biodiesel through a single-step process.

The new agreement with Clariant allows ExxonMobil and REG to further optimize REG’s bio-conversion process using previously tested and benchmarked cellulosic sugars created through Clariant’s sunliquid® process. The companies’ ultimate objective is to combine Clariant’s and REG’s processes into a seamless cellulosic biomass-to-biodiesel technology.

“Over the past three years, our work with REG has led to important advances in genetically improving REG’s proprietary microbes for a beneficial use in facilitating the conversion of cellulosic sugars into biodiesel,” said Vijay Swarup, vice president of research and development at ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company. “Applying Clariant’s expertise and knowledge will help us better understand and advance a key stage in the overall cellulosic conversion process, and hopefully lead to the development of scalable biodiesel technology.”

Clariant is a leading company offering integrated technologies and solutions for converting agricultural residues such as wheat straw, rice straw, corn stover and sugar cane bagasse. Clariant‘s sunliquid® process features chemical-free pretreatment, the integrated production of feedstock and process-specific enzymes and thus high yields of fermentable C5 and C6 sugars. Clariant will conduct trials at its pre-commercial plant in Straubing, Germany using different types of cellulosic feedstock that will be converted into sugars for conversion by REG and ExxonMobil into high-quality, low-carbon biodiesel.

“We are committed to innovation and R&D, together with a focus on sustainability, as key pillars of Clariant’s strategy,” said Christian Kohlpaintner, member of Clariant's executive committee. “Our sunliquid® technology platform is a key outcome of this commitment. We are proud that two leading names in the biofuels industry have selected Clariant as their partner and are excited to work with them on further leveraging this unique technology for converting cellulosic biomass to fuels and chemicals, including biodiesel.”

REG Life Sciences technology has proven its broad applicability to industries as diverse as flavor and fragrance, specialty chemicals and transportation fuels. Through its partnership with ExxonMobil, REG has developed proprietary technology that utilizes industrial microbes to convert complex cellulosic sugars into low-carbon biodiesel in a one-step fermentation process.

“ExxonMobil has been an exceptional partner in developing this promising technology,” said Eric Bowen, vice president of REG Life Sciences. “We are delighted to be able to add Clariant to the team with its market leading sunliquid® technology. We believe we have assembled a dream team for conversion of cellulosic biomass to low carbon biofuels and are excited about the promise of this collaboration.”

The partners will also work on a conceptual engineering study to validate the feasibility of the integrated process comprising the technologies of all parties.

About ExxonMobil 
ExxonMobil, the largest publicly traded international oil and gas company, uses technology and innovation to help meet the world’s growing energy needs. ExxonMobil holds an industry-leading inventory of resources, is one of the largest refiners and marketers of petroleum products, and its chemical company is one of the largest in the world. For more information, visit www.exxonmobil.com or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/exxonmobil.

Cautionary Statement: Statements of future events or conditions in this release are forward-looking statements. Actual future results, including project plans and timing and the impact and results of new technologies, including efficiency gains and emission reductions, could vary depending on the outcome of further research and testing; the development and competitiveness of alternative technologies; the ability to scale pilot projects on a cost-effective basis; political and regulatory developments; and other factors discussed in this release and under the heading “Factors Affecting Future Results” on the Investors page of ExxonMobil’s website at exxonmobil.com and uncertainties described in REG's annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017 and other reports subsequently filed with the SEC.

About Renewable Energy Group
Renewable Energy Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: REGI) is a leading provider of cleaner, lower carbon intensity products and services. We are an international producer of biomass-based diesel, a developer of renewable chemicals and North America’s largest producer of advanced biofuel. REG utilizes an integrated procurement, distribution, and logistics network to convert natural fats, oils, greases and sugars into lower carbon intensity products. With 14 active biorefineries, a feedstock processing facility, research and development capabilities and a diverse and growing intellectual property portfolio, REG is committed to being a long-term leader in bio-based fuel and chemicals.

Forward Looking Statement
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended, including statements regarding the REG’s future growth and value creation.  These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations, estimates, assumptions and projections that are subject to change, and actual results may differ materially from the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include, but are not limited to: potential changes in governmental programs and policies requiring or encouraging the use of biofuels, including RFS2; availability of federal and state governmental tax incentives; unanticipated changes in the biomass-based diesel and cellulosic sugar markets; competition in the markets in which we operate; technological advances or new methods of production or the development of energy alternatives to biomass-based diesel; our ability to successfully implement our partnership strategy; our ability to generate revenue from the sale of renewable chemicals, fuels and other products on a commercial scale and at a competitive cost, and customer acceptance of the products produced; and other risks and uncertainties described in REG's annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017, Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2018 and other reports subsequently filed with the SEC.  All forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this press release and REG does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements based on new developments or changes in our expectations.

About Clariant
Clariant is a globally leading specialty chemicals company, based in Muttenz near Basel/Switzerland. On 31 December 2017 the company employed a total workforce of 18 135. In the financial year 2017, Clariant recorded sales of CHF 6.377 billion for its continuing businesses. The company reports in four business areas: Care Chemicals, Catalysis, Natural Resources, and Plastics & Coatings. Clariant’s corporate strategy is based on five pillars: focus on innovation and R&D, add value with sustainability, reposition portfolio, intensify growth, and increase profitability. For more information, visit www.clariant.com

Stora Enso Acquires Swedish Cellulose Technology Company

By Stora Enso

Stora Enso has increased its ownership up to 100% in the Sweden-based company Cellutech AB. The company specialises in the development of new materials and applications based on cellulose, micro-fibrillated cellulose (MFC) and other wood-based components.

The acquisition of Cellutech supports Stora Enso's vision of replacing fossil-based materials with renewable ones originating from wood. The acquired company works, among others, in the areas of foams for packaging and hydroponics where the markets are continuously growing. Cellulosic foams can, for example, be used in packaging to replace polystyrenes which are the most widely used plastics.

"The acquisition of Cellutech will add a new dimension to our fibre and cellulose capabilities particularly in lightweight cellulose foams and spheres. We are investing in technologies and expertise that will further broaden application development competence in Stora Enso's Biomaterials Division," says Markus Mannström, EVP, Stora Enso Biomaterials.

Established in 2013, Cellutech is an agile team of eight scientists and researchers serving as a link between academia and industry. Cellutech was formed to take world class scientific research developed at SweTree Technologies and Wallenberg Wood Science Center and develop the ideas into commercially successful technologies and products.

The transaction will not have a material financial impact on the Group.

Part of the bioeconomy, Stora Enso is a leading global provider of renewable solutions in packaging, biomaterials, wooden constructions and paper. We believe that everything that is made from fossil-based materials today can be made from a tree tomorrow. Stora Enso has some 26 000 employees in over 30 countries. Our sales in 2017 were EUR 10 billion. Stora Enso shares are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki (Nasdaq Helsinki: STEAV), (Nasdaq Helsinki: STERV) and Nasdaq Stockholm (Nasdaq Stockholm: STE A),(Nasdaq Stockholm: STE R). In addition, the shares are traded in the USA as ADRs (SEOAY). storaenso.com

ERS Genomics and Syngulon Sign License Agreement on CRISPR-Cas9 Genome Editing Patents for Industrial Applications.

By Syngulon

DUBLIN, Ireland, and SERAING, Belgium, October 16, 2018 - ERS Genomics Ltd and Syngulon, a synthetic biology startup developing original genetic technologies using bacteriocins, announced today a non-exclusive license agreement which provides Syngulon with worldwide access to ERS’ CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing intellectual property for use in combination with Syngulon Patent Rights. ERS Genomics holds rights to the foundational CRISPR-Cas9 patent portfolio from Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier, an inventor of the breakthrough gene-editing technology.

“Genome editing has many applications beyond drug discovery and development and making the CRISPR-Cas9 patents available to synthetic biology startups such as Syngulon is a growing and important part of our business. We are thus very pleased to include them in our expanding portfolio of licensees,” said Eric Rhodes, CEO of ERS Genomics.

“By combining modern genetics with synthetic biology, Syngulon is developping its collection of bacteriocins a.k.a. anti-microbial peptides to fight contaminants in different industrial applications. Syngulon outlicenses its patented technologies on a non-exclusive basis and will be able to sublicense ERS’ CRISPR-Cas9 patents as part of a Joint Licensing agreement thus enabling its licensees to benefit from the use of CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing in implementing Syngulon’s technologies using bacteriocins” commented Dr Philippe Gabant, Co-founder & CSO of Syngulon.

Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier’s research unveiled the key components and mechanisms of the CRISPR-Cas9 system, leading to the landmark publication with Jennifer Doudna, (Jinek et al., 2012), which laid the foundation for the use of CRISPR-Cas9 as a highly versatile and precise genome editing tool.

Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

Natural Products Canada invests in creator of natural preservative, Chinova Bioworks

Natural Products Canada has invested in Chinova Bioworks, a Canadian company whose innovative mushroom-based natural preservative has captured the interest of major food industry partners such as DSM Ventures, Rhapsody and AgFunder.

“Chinova has discovered a unique solution to create a clean label, natural preservative that meets the demands of industry and consumers,” says Shelley King, CEO of Natural Products Canada, which fosters Canadian natural product companies through advice, introductions, and investment. “We are thrilled with the progress they’ve made since we started working with them 18 months ago, and we’re proud to participate in this investment round with DSM Ventures, AgFunder and Rhapsody.”

Chinova, based in Atlantic Canada, is focused on the development of natural preservatives using mushroom chitosan, a natural fiber whose antimicrobial properties are effective against a broad spectrum of microorganisms.

“We are pleased to have NPC as a part of this seed round,” says CEO, Natasha Dhayagude. “The valuable business, technical and financial assistance we’ve received from them has been instrumental to our early success in the market.”

Chinova’s innovative technology, coupled with their ambitious plans for growth, made them an ideal client for NPC’s full range of services, including business and technical advisory services, connections to industry resources, and access to capital.

“It’s been a pleasure to help Chinova navigate the ecosystem and grow their business to the point where it was able to attract such high calibre investors,” says Stephen Ball, Regional Director for Natural Products Canada. “Their scientific acumen, desire to grow, and ability to attract and retain strategic industry mentors puts them in good standing for future growth.”

NPC started its investment fund in 2017 to help Canadian natural product companies achieve their full commercialization potential. To date, it has made four investments and experienced one exit. Along with financial investment and business advice, NPC connects high-potential Canadian companies like Chinova to Canadian and international investors through personal introductions and strategic investor events and meetings.

Checkerspot Closes $5 Million Series Seed Financing.

By Checkerspot.

Checkerspot Inc., a materials innovation company, announced today that it has closed its Series Seed financing for over $5 million. The round was led by KdT Ventures, and included Viking Global Investors, Refactor Capital, Sahsen Ventures and Godfrey Capital. DIC Corporation also invested as part of its recently announced Joint Development Agreement with Checkerspot.

Cain McClary, general partner of KdT Ventures, will be joining the board of directors along with David Greenwood, who also participated in the financing and has worked with the company as an advisor since 2016.

Checkerspot’s innovation platform integrates biology, chemistry and fabrication. The company’s initial materials focus has been on materials derived from novel triglycerides (oils) from microalgae.

“We are so excited to support Checkerspot as they build capabilities that will allow for new green chemistries and fabrication to open doors to products and materials capabilities not yet imagined or even thought possible. The experience of the founding team and their integrated approach to partnerships and products across their disciplines is unique and a driving force at the company. Checkerspot’s eventual expansion into a myriad of verticals will reveal the true power of the platform as their customers and the company itself forge new ground,” said Cain McClary of KdT Ventures.

“At Checkerspot we’ve sought out partners, including investors, that think differently, share our passion for innovation and share our mission to create new-to-the-world high-performance materials and unique products that also take the environment into account. Existing, converging technologies are unlocking a whole new world of development, allowing us to design with intention and enable better ways of doing things,” said Charles Dimmler, CEO and co-founder of Checkerspot.

“We see triglycerides as molecular scaffolds. Our technology platform leverages an understanding of biology, chemistry, materials science and fabrication, and through it, we believe we can imbue these molecules with properties that dramatically enhance the performance of Checkerspot’s materials. As we grow, we’ll continue to innovate around this platform, further developing its precision to allow us to penetrate into more and more applications areas,” said Scott Franklin, CSO and co-founder of Checkerspot.

About Checkerspot: Checkerspot is a materials company. Advances in our understanding of biology, chemistry and materials science are converging with breakthroughs in data science and unleashing capabilities we once only imagined. Checkerspot's technology unlocks this potential, expands the palette of materials available to product designers and enables a more intentional way to design performance materials for specific applications. As a graduate of the Illumina Accelerator program, we are building a technology platform that enables the design – at a molecular level – of new materials. Through applications development, we prototype and iterate on specific product embodiments. By engaging directly with product users and partnering with socially responsible corporations, we design and bring to market superior products with better materials. For more information, please visit www.checkerspot.com.

About KdT Ventures: KdT Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm focused on the enablement that data and frontier computational technologies have brought to the physical and life sciences. To this end, KdT invests in transformative technologies and platforms across the verticals of medicine, chemicals and agriculture, utilizing an extensive network of fellow entrepreneurs, advisors and funders to support its portfolio companies. For more information, please visit www.kdtvc.com.

About David Greenwood: Mr. Greenwood currently serves as chairman of the board of directors of Corium International, a drug development and delivery company. He served as executive chairman from 2012 to 2015. In addition, Mr. Greenwood is an advisor to a number of public and private companies. Mr. Greenwood is a former chief executive officer, chief financial officer and director of Geron Corporation, a biotechnology company in the fields of regenerative medicine and cancer. He was previously chairman of the board of Geron Bio-Med Limited, chairman of the board of TA Therapeutics Ltd., a board director of ViaGen Inc., Clone International and Parnell Pharmaceuticals. He also currently serves on the President’s Task Force at Pacific Lutheran University and previously served on the board of regents, including on the executive committee and as chair of the development committee. From 1979 to 1995, Mr. Greenwood held various positions with JPMorgan & Co. Incorporated, an international banking firm. Mr. Greenwood holds a BA from Pacific Lutheran University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Contact: Genet Garamendi at press@checkerspot.com

SWEETWOODS Consortium brings together 9 European bio-innovation oriented stakeholders. The project receives major EU funding to establish a first-of-a-kind wood fractionation Flagship plant to create new industrial value-chains using sustainable hardwood as a resource.

  • European grant amounting to €20.96 million
  • Industry consortium led by OÜ Graanul Biotech and bringing together MetGen Oy, Global Bioenergies, Tecnaro GmbH, Armacell via Ultima GmbH, Recticel N.V., 2B Srl, Vertech Group and Spinverse Oy
  • Aims at establishing a completely unique wood fractionation Flagship plant and demonstration of novel value-chains based on sustainable hardwood resource
  • Flagship plant modular design allows smaller economy of scale, minimized regional environmental impact and sustainable resource use while supporting regional development and employment

Tallinn 9th of May 2018 – The SWEETWOODS Consortium announces the signature of a grant agreement aiming at demonstrating several new-value chains to convert currently poorly valorized hardwood residues into high purity intermediate building blocks of cellulosic sugars and high-quality lignin. Establishment of innovative wood fractionation Flagship plant in Estonia opens an avenue to a diversity of new industrial intermediates and end-use applications. The intense 4-year cooperation starts on 01.06.2018.

Until recently non-timber hardwood biomass  has been considered solely suitable for a limited number of end products, mostly cellulose pulp or ethanol. By-products like lignin and hemicellulose have been considered low-value side streams. The SWEETWOODS technology platform creates additional value for lignocellulosic biomass and all the fractions will be valorized. The carefully selected technologies are co-developed to complement each other: MetGen’s comprehensive enzymatic solutions are optimized for Graanul Biotech’s diverse feedstock and selected pretreatment technology allowing affordable breakdown and efficient bio-conversion of wood to valuable intermediates and products. Enzymatic lignin depolymerization and conversion of sugars provide a portfolio of high-purity wood-derived intermediate products with novel characteristics. These will be further processed into a variety of biofuels, biochemicals, and biomaterials to enhance new business models of the biobased economy. The consortium is proud to have the leading companies to participate in development and market demonstration on new bio-based products – completing a strong chain from forest to market.

The 9 participants of the SWEETWOODS project representing 6 EU-member States have signed an agreement with the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU). The objective is to demonstrate at the industrial level successful and profitable production of high purity lignin and sugars from hardwood as well as the demonstration of these materials in novel applications by combining the technologies and know-how of participants as follows:

  • Industrial wood processing competence by OÜ Graanul Biotech (Estonia)
  • Industrial enzymes for hydrolysis, lignin depolymerization, and sugar conversions by MetGen Oy (Finland),
  • Post-processing of lignin for bio-composites production by Tecnaro GmbH (Germany),
  • Production of bio-based elastomeric foams by Armacell, viaUltima GmbH (Germany),
  • Incorporation of lignin into polyurethane foams production by Recticel N.V. (Belgium),
  • Hydrolysate fermentation to bio-isobutene by Global Bioenergies (France)
  • Life Cycle Assessment of the project by 2B Srl (Italy)
  • Viability performance analysis by Vertech Group (France), and
  • Project management support by Spinverse Oy (Finland)

The project was selected under the name SWEETWOODS (N°792061), in the frame of the European HORIZON 2020 programme for research and innovation, following a very selective and competitive process led by independent experts.

The project covers a total budget of €43.2 million. Non-refundable grants totaling €20.96 million will be provided by the EU, with the remainder being contributed by the SWEETWOODS project participants.

BBI JU’s mission is to implement, under Horizon 2020 rules, the Strategic Innovation Research Agenda (SIRA) developed by the industry and validated by the European Commission. The EU body aims at providing environmental and socio-economic benefits for European Citizens, increasing the competitiveness of Europe and contributing to establishing Europe as a key player in research, demonstration, and deployment of advanced bio-based products and biofuels. The BBI JU will also play an important role in achieving a bio-economy in Europe.

About project coordinator Graanul Biotech

OÜ Graanul Biotech (part of Graanul Invest Group, owned 100% by AS Graanul Invest) is a newly established bio-based economy dedicated private company headquartered in Tallinn, Estonia. The main fields of activities of Graanul Biotech are the innovative technologies based processing of woody biomass into high purity lignin, C5 sugars, C6 sugars or microcrystalline cellulose to be used for novel end-use applications. Within SWEETWOODS project Sweetwater Energy pre-treatment technology platform is established and operated by Graanul Biotech.

Peep Pitk, PhD
Teadus- ja arendusjuht/ R&D Manager

Tel: + 372 55 604 106
Email: peep.pitk@graanulinvest.com

From cashew nut residuals and cellulose fibrils over roof shingle sealer from soy-bean oil up to innovative composite and packaging materials.

Six candidates are nominated for the Innovation Award “Bio-based Material of the Year 2018”.

For the 11th year in a row, the Innovation Award “Bio-based Material of the Year” will be granted to the young, innovative bio-based chemicals and materials industry for finding suitable applications and new markets for their products.

The winners will be elected at the “11th International Conference on Bio-based Materials”, 15-16 May 2018 in Cologne, Germany (www.bio-based-conference.com). Six new materials and products from six different countries out of thirteen applications have been nominated for the innovation award by the members of the advisory board.

The three winners will be elected by the participants of the conference and awarded with a prize, sponsored by InfraServ GmbH Knapsack, at the festive dinner buffet.

The “Top 6” candidates in detail:

AIMPLAS (Spain): Bio-based and biodegradable nets for green beans

A packaging material which is more than 80% bio-based and more sustainable than conventional polyethylene nets, but has similar linear weight and mechanical properties. The innovative product is a biodegradable net suitable for green beans packaging. A compound has been developed through reactive extrusion and the combination of different biodegradable materials and additives. Chemical modification was made by grafting low molecular weight units, such as oleic alcohol, obtained by the fermentation of sugars extracted from vegetable waste (watermelon). More information: www.aimplas.es

Arctic Biomaterials Oy (Finland): PLA reinforced with glass fibre that erodes back to harmless minerals in composting environment

ArcBioxTM BGF30-B1 is a Polylactic Acid (PLA) that is reinforced using LFT (long fibre) technology with glass fibres. This innovation makes it possible that bio-based plastics can be used in technically demanding durable applications and still have the option of compostability at the end of life. The reinforcement is a glass fibre developed by Arctic Biomaterials Oy (ABM) and can also be used for several other bio-based polymers. This composite material reduces the carbon footprint and use of non-renewable energy of a composite product drastically compared to fossil-based reinforced plastics. This reinforced PLA is compostable and certified by the seedling mark from DIN CERTCO. More information: www.abmcomposite.com

Borregaard (Norway): Exilva – World’s first commercially available cellulose fibril

Exilva is a completely natural and sustainable three-dimensional network of cellulose fibrils, that improves rheology and stability, as well as enhancing structure in your product formulations. Due to the fibril’s flexible aggregates creating ultra-high surface area and water retention capability – that will retain their crystallinity features even after the production process – Exilva increases the formulation efficiency, reduces the CO2 footprint and creates exciting opportunities for greener innovation. Exilva also improves product stability (anti-settling) and versatility, alongside controlling dry-out time, improving barriers and enhancing uptake of active ingredients. More information: www.exilva.com

Cardolite Corporation (Belgium): Cashew nutshell residual-based blocking agent

NX-2026 is an ultra-high purity 3-pentadeca-dienyl-phenol recently developed by Cardolite through advanced proprietary process technology. 3-pentadeca-dienyl-phenol is the main component distilled from cashew nutshell liquid, a renewable and non-edible resin extracted from the honeycomb structure of the cashew nut. NX-2026 has been successfully introduced to the coating and adhesive market as a non-toxic isocyanate (NCO) blocking agent that is a suitable replacement for petrochemical phenols. NCO systems blocked with NX-2026 provide lower viscosity and deblocking temperature than equivalent systems blocked with phenols. Moreover, NX-2026 blocked NCO prepolymers can be used in 2K epoxy systems to improve bond and T-peel strengths while maintaining good cure properties. More information: www.cardolite.com

Rhenoflex GmbH (Germany): Rx 35 – rice husk filled, thermoplastic material for easy handicraft work

Rx 35 is a biodegradable and partly bio-based thermoplastic sheet material with 35 weight-% rice husk filler. One side of Rx 35 sheets has smooth leather-like haptics and is mostly used in the visual field of final products. The other side is laminated with a fine mesh offering high strength and resilience properties. It is non-toxic, solvent-free and recyclable. Its unique properties allow for easy handicraft work by heating the material up to 90 °C. It is mainly used for tinker and fashion accessories as well as toys production, model making, theatre and many more. The utter uniqueness of Rx 35 is its versatility. More information: www.rhenoflex.de

Ohio Soybean Council, collaborating with Roof Revivers (USA): Roof Maxx – Soy-bean-based roof material sealer

Roof Maxx is a bio-based, renewably sourced shingle sealer-rejuvenator that is spray-applied to asphalt-based roofing materials to extend their service life up to 15 years. Roof Maxx re-saturates dried, curled, leaky shingles or modified bitumen roofing material, restoring pliability and flexibility, and enhances adhesion of the protective mineral granules. A biodegradable, green chemical that uses oil from soybeans as chemical feedstock, Roof Maxx contains no solvents, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), or toxic ingredients. Overspray is not harmful to homeowners, sealant appliers, pets, plants, building materials, or vehicles. By extending the lifespan of roofs, RoofMaxx ultimately reduces the production of asphalt roofing materials and landfill waste and improves the roofing industry’s environmental footprint. More information: www.roofmaxx.com

The movers of the bio-based industry meet in Cologne

The final programme of the International Conference on Bio-based Materials one as one of the biggest conferences in Europe on this topic is online available. It features major topics such as first and second-generation feedstocks, bio-based building blocks and polymers, and environmental solutions. International experts will cover the latest technology trends, market data and strategies. More than 200 participants are expected, more than 20 exhibitors have already booked their stand. Only a few booths are left.

All information, registration and the conference programme is available at www.bio-based-conference.com/programme

The nova-Institute would like to thank InfraServ GmbH & Co. Knapsack KG (Germany) for sponsoring the renowned Innovation Award “Bio-based Material of the Year 2018”.

BASF SE (Germany) and UPM Biochemicals (Germany) are supporting the conference as Silver Sponsors and Neste SA (Suisse), FKUR Kunststoff GmbH (Germany) and Synvina C. V. (Netherlands) as a Bronze Sponsor.

Responsible for the content:

Dipl.-Phys. Michael Carus (Managing Director)

nova-Institut GmbH, Chemiepark Knapsack, Industriestraße 300, DE-50354 Hürth (Germany)

www.nova-institute.eu – all services and studies at www.bio-based.eu

Email: contact@nova-institut.de / +49 (0) 22 33-48 14 40


University College Dublin Statement on Commissioner Phil Hogan’s Announcement of €22 million in EU Funding for the AgriChemWhey Bio-Refinery Research Project.

By University College Dublin. 

Dublin, Ireland, 26 April 2018, Professor Orla Feely, UCD Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact said, “I warmly welcome today’s announcement by Commissioner Phil Hogan of €22 million in funding, under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme, for AgriChemWhey, a new collaborative bioeconomy research project.”

“AgriChemWhey has its foundations in University College Dublin’s long standing research and innovation partnership with Glanbia Ireland, and UCD's research expertise in social and environmental sustainability will be a significant component of the project.”

“AgriChemWhey represents a fantastic opportunity for bioeconomy leaders, including UCD, Glanbia, and the other project partners, to use their expertise to implement new technologies, at industrial scale, that address global challenges. Such challenges include the sustainable conversion of by-products from the dairy processing industry into high-value products. Challenges such as this go to the heart of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

“The funding for the AgriChemWhey project, will not only stimulate regional economic growth in Co. Tipperary, but will also enhance Ireland’s position as a world leader in the development of the bioeconomy and provide the country with an opportunity to lead on issues central to achieving the UN SDGs.” 

For further information contact Micéal Whelan, Communications, UCD Research and Innovation, e: miceal.whelan@ucd.ie, t: +353 1 716 3712.


More than just a dream: climate-destroying CO2 as a feedstock for fuels, chemicals and plastics – current research and industrial implementation highlights.

By Nova Institute

17-01-16-CO2-390x292.jpgThe sixth edition of the international “CO2 – Carbon Dioxide as Feedstock for Fuels, Chemicals and Polymers” conference (www.co2-chemistry.eu) will take place in Cologne on 15 and 16 March 2018. More than 200 experts from industry and research are expected to attend the symposium. Nova-Institute, the event organisers, have once more managed to attract leading international speakers, who will discuss the very latest developments in this future-oriented field. The conference will shed light on carbon dioxide or CO2-based production technologies for fuels, chemicals, polymers and even proteins. A broad portfolio of technologies is employed here, ranging from chemical catalysis to industrial biotechnology. The event will be held under the patronage of Prof Dr Andreas Pinkwart, Minister of Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitalization and Energy of the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia, who will also be the keynote speaker at the conference.

How to use CO2?
Utilising carbon dioxide (CO2) as a feedstock has been topping the agenda of innovative research projects and companies for several years now. The underlying idea is to achieve a more circular use of the greenhouse gas that is CO2 and, at the same time, to avoid additional emissions through substituting raw materials such as natural gas and crude oil with CO2-based products. Internationally, the technologies used are summarised under the term Carbon Capture and Utilisation, or CCU for short. CCU embraces a whole range of technologies allowing CO2 and other emissions, among them carbon monoxide (CO) and synthesis gas (CO2, CO and H) in particular, to be used for the production of various commodities.

Rapid development
It is impressive to see how fast researchers advance and especially how swiftly the industry implements their findings. Over the past few years public research funders in Germany and the European Union have increasingly understood the significance of these new technologies and as a consequence support numerous research projects, working hand-in-glove with the private sector. It is only a matter of time before CO2, along with crude oil, natural gas, coal and biomass, is an important feedstock of the chemicals and energy industries – adding to the benefits of renewable energies and addressing climate protection goals. After the U.S. has lost ground under Donald Trump, Europe may now gain pole position.

The annual conference held in Cologne provides an overview of the latest developments and applications; it has developed into the central meeting place of this aspiring industry. Leading scientists will gather in Cologne as will representatives of start-up companies and pioneers in addition to innovative large corporations.

What’s New at this Year’s nova Conference in Cologne?
The sixth “Conference on CO2 as Feedstock for Fuels, Chemistry and Polymers” will showcase the latest CCU developments. The first session will be dedicated to politics, innovation and implementation strategies, with talks by Prof Dr Andreas Pinkwart, Minister of Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitalization and Energy of the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Jürgen Tiedje (European Commission), Dr Helmut Löwe, (Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), DE), Linsey Garcia-Gonzalez and Heleen de Wever (Vlemish Institute for Technology (VITO), BE) and Thomas Ross (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), ZA).

These lectures will be followed by deep insights into the field of sustainability and political frameworks. Prof Christian Breyer of Lappeenranta University, Finland, will analyse the potential of global renewable energies for the utilisation of CO2. Lisa Buchner, who is with the German Environment Agency (UBA), will discuss CCU technologies against the background of the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS). Dr Juha-Pekka Pitkänen, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, will shed light on the production of single-cell proteins for the production of feed proteins from CO2 and electricity. Daniel Egger from Climeworks AG, Switzerland, will give participants insights into the current status of his company’s technology that allows CO2 to be captured straight from the atmosphere, as well as providing details on the experience of constructing the first such pilot plant of its kind.

The second conference day will be more technical in nature, focusing on the CO2-based production of chemicals, polymers and fuels. The session on chemicals and polymers includes, among others, presentations by speakers from Wageningen University (NL) and the Catalan ICIQ/ICREA research institute. The highlights of the morning session will be the joint presentation by Nordic Blue Crude AS (Norway) and sunfire GmbH (Germany), which are cooperating to build up a demonstration plant for the production of synthetic naphtha (blue crude) in Norway, as well as the insights granted into the latest developments at Avantium (NL) and Covestro (DE), which are dedicated to the production of building block chemicals and polymers.

The production of sustainable fuels based on CO2 has the clear potential to benefit both industry and environment. Blue crude, mentioned above, and in particular methanol, which may also be used as a platform chemical, share excellent prospects for application. Dr Günter Harp, a consultant to the Icelandic Carbon Recycling company is one of the speakers who will discuss possible fields of methanol application (“Methanol as Key for Industrial Symbiosis between Chemistry and Steel”). Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Europe GmbH, which relies on innovative process chains to synthesise methanol, is working within the scope of the European OptiMeH research project to build a pilot plant for the emissions-based production of methanol together with Carbon Recycling.

With its biotechnologically produced butanol, the American Phytonix Corporation, the conference’s gold sponsor, blazes a trail for commercial use in the production of fuels. Bruce Dannenberg, CEO and founder of the company, will give an account of thrilling developments and collaboration projects at his company. Project managers from Thyssenkrupp AG and Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety, and Energy Technology UMSICHT (DE) will present the Carbon2Chem project, which is looking into the utilisation of steel industry emissions for the sustainable production of fuels. The Finnish VTT company harnesses decentral Fischer-Tropsch processes to produce blue crude. SkyNRG (NL) will discuss challenges and opportunities for the production of sustainable aviation fuels using CO2-based technologies. In their presentation, bse Engineering Leipzig GmbH (DE) will focus on energy consumption in the CO2-to-fuels conversion process.

Nova-Institute wishes to thank Prof Dr Andreas Pinkwart, Minister of Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitalization and Energy of the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia, for acting as patron of this conference, as well as Phytonix Corporation, the event’s gold sponsor, and EnergieAgentur.NRW, the conference’s premium partner, for supporting the convention.

For further information and to register online for the “CO2 – Carbon Dioxide as Feedstock for Fuels, Chemicals and Polymers” conference, please visit www.co2-chemistry.eu.

The detailed and latest version of the conference programme is available for download under www.co2-chemistry.eu/media/2018/Leaflet/CCU-Leaflet.pdf 


Brainstorming the Bioeconomy's Future and Welcoming 56 New Members at BIC's General Assembly

By Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC)

Last week,  the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC) General Assembly came together to discuss the future of the bioeconomy. The event also saw BIC welcome 21* new industry Members, 35 new Associate Members and elect 8 new members to the BIC Board (see below) Mat Quaedvlieg from SAPPI continues as Chair of the BIC Board during the next year.

This year’s General Assembly focused on the future of bio-based industries, as BIC members discussed the new European bioeconomy strategy and the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) in the context of new Horizon 2020 successor programme 'FP9', which will run from 2021-2028. Participants also brainstormed the possibility of a ‘BBI 2.0’, which would further develop Europe’s competitive bioeconomy.

BIC Executive Director, Dirk Carrez, said, "BIC continues to be an important bio-based platform, bringing together different sectors and entire value chains to collaborate on the bioeconomy. We are delighted to have 56 new members on board to help us further develop innovative bio-based value chains and contribute to Europe’s circular and low carbon economy objectives. BBI JU also continues to have a strong impact, mobilising relevant stakeholders ranging from SMEs to large companies and resource and technology providers to brand owners.”

At the event, representatives of the BBI JU Coordination and Support Actions (CSAs)** also presented their projects to industry members. CSAs address non-technological aspects of the bioeconomy e.g. public awareness and market uptake, regulation and standardisation, roadmapping, networking and open innovation, to support further development of the sector. More information on CSAs can be found in BIC’s new report ‘Coordination & Support Actions for Europe’s bio-based industries’. Other topics discussed included BIC’s recent study on EU financial instruments, which outlines a range of funding opportunities for EU bio-based projects.

At the  Matchmaking Event, over 200 Full and Associate Members will participate in workshops relating to BBI JU’s 2018 Annual Work plan and the work needed in 2019 and 2020 to meet the long-term objectives in BIC’s Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda (SIRA). BIC’s Associate Members will bring forward new, promising technological developments while BIC’s industry members will discuss recent developments creating market pull for bio-based products and applications. Members will also exchange ideas and confer on consortia for project proposals in over 200 one-on-one meetings during the event.

 * Agro Business Park, AkzoNobel, Apeiron Synthesis, Bio Eco Energy Company (BEECO), Bio-marine Ingredients Ireland (BII), Bio-mi, Biosphere, Carbery Food Ingredients, Corporación Tecnológica de Andalucía (CTA), Commercial Mushroom Producers (CMP), Evonik, Fermentalg, Flanders’ FOOD, Haldor Topsoe, KMC, Neste, Orineo, Plastica Alfa, SAV - Agricultores de la Vega de Valencia, Spanish Biocluster (SBIOC), Tectero.

** BioCannDo, BIOWAYS, BiOPEN, Pilots4U, RoadToBio, STAR4BBI.

ANNEX:Newly elected BIC Board members

Mat Quaedvlieg, Chair SAPPI 

Marcel Wubbolts, Corbion  / Claus Crone Fuglsang,  Novozymes /Christophe Luguel, IAR / Alex Michine, MetGen /Bill Morrissey, Glanbia /Daniel Ramón Vidal Biopolis/ADM / Niklas von Weymarn,  Metsä Group /Gert de Raaff, Royal Cosun / Giulia Gregori, Novamont /Gloria Gaupmann, Clariant 

ReEnergy Receives Promising Responses to RFP

By Biobased Maine

ReEnergy just announced that it has received numerous proposals from promising companies wishing to co-locate at one or more of ReEnergy’s four biomass-to-electricity facilities in Maine in response to the company’s request for proposals announced in October.

On October 18, National BioEnergy Day, ReEnergy CEO Larry D. Richardson announced at the company’s Fort Fairfield facility that it was partnering with Biobased Maine for this RFP. (Read our blog post about it here.) The deadline for proposals was November 30, 2017.

“We are beginning the process of reviewing the proposals to determine which of them are most feasible and which are the best possible fit for co-locating with our facilities,” Richardson said. “We anticipate that we may be conducting intensive due diligence—and entering into confidentiality agreements—with one or more of the respondents. Although we wish to move quickly with this project, an effective due diligence process will take some time. We hope to be moving ahead with advanced discussions with potential co-located businesses by year-end, and hope to be in a position to make a public announcement by spring 2018.”

Charlotte Mace, executive director of Biobased Maine, said, “I am heartened by the proposals that we have received and look forward to working with ReEnergy to review the proposals in detail. The response to the RFP indicates that emerging-technology businesses are interested in siting facilities in Maine and recognize that Maine is unique due to its abundance of second generation, sustainable feedstock and its close proximity to the largest consumer market in the world.”

ReEnergy Partners with Biobased Maine with New Co-Location RFP

By Biobased Maine

Today, at the National Biomass Energy Day event in Fort Fairfield, Maine, ReEnergy and Biobased Maine announce a partnership to seek technology for co-location at one or all of ReEnergy’s biomass-to-energy facilities in Livermore Falls, Ashland, Stratton, and Fort Fairfield Maine. Biobased Maine will be administering the RFP, which can be accessed here: ReEnergy RFP

Biobased Maine’s role in this partnership is to assist in finding the most viable and commercially relevant technologies to co-locate at ReEnergy’s four Maine facilities and use wood, electricity, and other site-specific assets available there to manufacture new products. Examples of industries which could co-locate with ReEnergy’s facilities include biofuels, biobased chemicals, advanced biobased materials, as well as industries such as agriculture, aquaculture, algae, or other technologies that use biomass energy co-products (heat, steam, emissions).

Charlotte Mace, executive director of Biobased Maine, said: “We’re excited for this partnership with ReEnergy, which can lead to more good jobs for rural Maine. Maine’s forest industry is still strong, viable, and well-positioned to seek partnerships with emerging technologies. The time is right to use Maine wood that currently lacks markets to manufacture next-generation products the world is demanding.”

ReEnergy owns and operates four utility-scale renewable energy generating facilities in Maine (a 39-megawatt biomass facility in Ashland; a 39-megawatt biomass facility in Livermore Falls; a 
37-megawatt biomass facility in Fort Fairfield; and a 48-megawatt biomass facility in Stratton.) 

These facilities use locally sourced, sustainably harvested, forest-derived woody biomass as fuel, in addition to woody biomass that is residue from mill operations. Each ReEnergy facility is capable of operating as part of a Combined Heat and Power platform: Each is adjacent to undeveloped land that is available for lease or sale, and companies locating on those parcels could make use of affordable electricity and/or steam generated by ReEnergy’s facility.

Proposals will be due to Biobased Maine by 5 p.m. Nov. 30th, and selected prospective partners will hopefully

UPM Biofuels wins the Bioenergy Industry Leadership award in the 2017 Platts Global Energy Awards.

By UPM BioFuels.

UPM Biofuels was chosen as the Bioenergy Industry Leader at the 2017 Platts Global Energy Awards - often described as the Oscars of the energy industry. The competition was arranged by S&P Global Platts, the leading independent provider of market information and benchmark prices for commodities in the energy sector.

UPM Biofuels was nominated for its wood-based low emission advanced UPM BioVerno biofuels, and its one-of-a-kind commercial scale biorefinery in Lappeenranta, Finland. The choice was made among energy companies from nearly 30 countries representing four continents, including some of the world's leading energy giants.

In the Industry Leader Award Bioenergy category, all finalists were innovative operators developing sustainable bioenergy solutions. The independent panel of judges was impressed by UPM Biofuels' innovativeness, leadership and operational excellence as well as its ability to minimise undesirable environmental impacts. The winner of the bioenergy leadership award was picked from a total of six finalists: DuPont Industrial Biosciences, Praj Industries, Propel Fuels, Targray, Alcol Biotech and UPM Biofuels.

"It's a great honour to receive this recognition of leadership in the bioenergy industry from the S&P Global Platts organisation, which is highly valued in the energy industry. It gives credit to the whole UPM Biofuels team that has managed to make significant progress in sustainable advanced biofuels," says Sari Mannonen, Vice President of UPM Biofuels.

UPM's Sari Mannonen (2nd from right) received the Bioenergy Industry Leader Award from Platts representatives in New York.

UPM Biofuels won praise for its commitment to sustainability and ability to utilise forest industry residue as a raw material for its advanced biofuels production. Using wood-based residues as raw material to produce sustainable drop-in biofuels is a fast track solution for reducing greenhouse gas and tailpipe emissions from transportation.

The Global Energy Awards are now in their 19th year recognising top performers, industry leaders and innovators in the energy industry. The award ceremony took place in New York on December 7, 2017.

Read more about the Platts Global Energy Award here.

For further information please contact:
Sari Mannonen, Vice President, UPM Biofuels, tel. +358 45 265 1345 

European biocomposite production reached 410,000 tonnes in 2017. Yearly growth rate is 3% – highest growth rate of 30% in new application fields.

By Nova-Institut.

There is considerable interest in biocomposites from various parts of the industry. Special appearance and haptic, green image, weight savings, shorter cycle times, scratch resistance and, above all, a lower CO2 footprint are important factors for this development.

The biocomposite production in Europe is estimated by nova experts to amount to 410,000 tonnes in 2017. Over 30 compound companies produce and trade 80,000 tonnes of granulate with wood and natural fibres in Europe. In addition to the common petrochemical plastics PE, PP, TPE and PVC, biopolymers such as Bio-PE, PLA, PBS, PBAT or PHA are utilized. Depending on the target application, wood flour, wood fibres, cellulose fibres, bast fibres such as hemp, flax, jute or kenaf, but also bamboo, cork or the fibres of the sunflower seed shells are used.

The overall annual growth rate of the European biocomposite production is about 3% which is roughly in line with the average growth of the plastics market. But much higher growth rates of up to 30% have been identified in various innovative application fields of biocomposites. These application fields range from technical applications over furniture to consumer goods that are produced mainly with injection moulding, 3D and other production methods like rotomoulding. Furthermore, in the area of traded granulates the overall growth rate has also been substantially higher as the average (15%). 



(NFC, WPC & others)



in % from 2012 to 2017

Decking, siding and fencing, mainly extrusion





Automotive, mainly compression moulding




Technical applications, furniture and consumer goods, mainly injection moulding, 3D and others








The total figure includes:

Produced and traded granulates for injection moulding and extrusion





The full market report will be first presented at the industry's biggest global meeting place for biocomposites: The “Biocomposites Conference Cologne (BCC)” (www.biocompositescc.com) in Cologne (Germany), 6 and 7 December. It is the world's largest conference and exhibition on this topic. Among the expected 300 participants from 30 countries, including more than 30 exhibitors, the following international companies will be present at the conference:

++ Avantium ++ BASF ++ Cordenka ++ Coperion ++ Covestro ++ DONG ++ Ford ++ nobilia ++ Renolit ++ Shell ++ Södra ++ Solvay ++ Sonae Arauco ++ Stora Enso ++ Tesa ++ TransFuran ++ Velux ++ VW ++ Wacker Chemie ++ Werzalit ++

Contact: Dr. Asta Partanen, asta.partanen@nova-institut.de, Tel.: +49 (0)2233-481459 

The 10th edition of the European Forum for Industrial Biotechnology & the Bioeconomy (EFIB)

Bioeconomy 2.0: Commercial success and the path towards a brighter bio-based future

Leading representatives from across the bioeconomy value chain will convene in Brussels, Belgium from 9-11 October 2017 for the 10th annual EFIB conference.

Organised in association with EuropaBio as Europe's leading event dedicated to driving the future of the bioeconomy powered by industrial biotechnology will address key issues related to the future of the bioeconomy, challenges and opportunities for the bio-based sectors through discussions on business, policy and innovation

"EFIB brings together the brightest and the best in industrial biotechnology and bio-based innovation, and the collective networking and sharing of ideas at EFIB is an annual boost to the sector..”- M. Simmers, Celtic Renewables Ltd

The 10th edition of EFIB will include:

  • 45 presentations on the latest updates within industrial biotechnology and bioeconomy in addition to a brand spotlight afternoon session featuring presentations from PepsiCo, Danimer Scientific, IKEA, LEGO Group, L’OREAL, Michelin Group and Renault Group 
  • Insights from over 70 leading speakers, with keynotes from the European Commission, GFBiochemicals, Avantium and UNEP International Resource Panel
  • Two dedicated tracks to shape your own agenda, including sessions on: 
    • Commercialisation success stories
    • Cross-sectoral breakthroughs from around the world
    • The role of bioplastics in creating a circular bioeconomy
    • New technologies showcase
    • Finance and investment
    • Sustainability through substitution: new bio-based solutions
    • Insights on national bio-based strategies
    • Future feedstocks
  •  5 hours of networking and an evening reception at the beautiful Kwint Resturant
  •  Access to Europe’s largest industrial biotech exhibition

For more information on EFIB 2017, visit http://www.efibforum.com/

About Smithers Rapra

Smithers Rapra is a global leader in rubber, plastics and polymer testing, consulting services, conferences, training, publications and market reports focused mainly on the tire, industrial, automotive, consumer and medical industries. For more information, please visit www.smithersrapra.com.  

Contact: Adriana Lobo, alobo[at]smithers[dot]com; +44 (0)1372 802085 

Human taste study suggests sweet prebiotic fibres could replace high-calorie sugars in food and drink products.

By OptiBiotix.

Results from a human taste study carried out by the Flavour and Sensory Science Centre at the University of Reading suggest that naturally sweet prebiotic fibres could replace high-calorie sugars in food and drink products. The human gut is unable to digest the long-fibre prebiotics, so while they taste sweet, they are calorie-free. They have been developed by OptiBiotix, one of the world leaders in developing both probiotic and prebiotic microbiome modulators.

The human taste study used a panel of ten experienced experts to test the sweetness of six customised prebiotic sweeteners derived from several high-intensity sweeteners. All of the naturally sweet prebiotics are oligosaccharides, which are carbohydrates which have between three and ten simple sugars linked together[i][i]. The customised oligosaccharides demonstrated sweetness of between 140x and 223x the sweetness of an equivalent concentration of sugar. This means that a far lower concentration of the oligosaccharides would be required to achieve the same level of sweetness as sugar.

In addition, some of the oligosaccharides were derived from Stevia, the FDA-approved sweetener known for its bitter aftertaste[1][ii]. The study showed that there was a large reduction in bitterness without any effect on sweetness. Previous human taste studies have confirmed the safety and sweetness of the prebiotic sweeteners.

Stephen O’Hara, CEO of OptiBiotix, commented, “We are really pleased with the results of this study, as it opens up opportunities for the development of a range of natural, sweet prebiotic fibres which can be used to replace sugar in food and beverages. With growing public and political concerns over traditional sugars and artificial sweeteners, OptiBiotix is leading research in an area of growing interest.”

Reducing the sugar content of food and drink products is a key objective for the food industry, particularly following Public Health England’s announcement of its sugar reduction guidelines[ii][iii]. PHE has encouraged the food industry to cut sugar by 20% by 2020 by lowering sugar levels, reducing the number of calories per portion, or promoting lower sugar products. These new sugar guidelines are part of the government’s drive to reduce childhood obesity. Currently, children are consuming three times more sugar every day than recommended, and one in five children are obese when they start primary school.

All of the prebiotic sweeteners were developed using OptiBiotix’s technology platform. The platform generates prebiotic microbiome modulators which increase the growth, biological activity, and health benefit of individual genera or species in the human microbiome. OptiBiotix has conducted ground-breaking research in microbiome modulation, including in the area of cholesterol reduction, and has recently launched a range of cholesterol-reducing probiotics.

The human microbiome

The human digestive tract contains a complex and diverse ecosystem of trillions of bacteria.  Recently, advances in molecular and analytical techniques (metagenomics, metabolomics) have permitted identification and quantitation of species and strains of bacteria that inhabit the gastrointestinal tract, their metabolic activity, and interactions with the human host. These studies have provided greater insight into the role of gut and their metabolites in health and disease.

NIH https://commonfund.nih.gov/hmp/index

Web MD http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/what-your-gut-bacteria-say-your-health#1

About OptiBiotix

OptiBiotix was formed in March 2012 by microbiologist Stephen O’Hara to develop compounds which modify the human microbiome – the collective genome of the microbes in the body – to prevent and manage human disease. 

The aim of OptiBiotix is to discover and develop microbial strains, compounds and formulations, which modulate the human microbiome and can be used as food ingredients and supplements or active compounds for the prevention and management of human metabolic diseases, examples of which include obesity, cholesterol and lipid distribution and diabetes. 

OptiBiotix has established a pipeline of microbiome modulators that can impact on lipid and cholesterol management, energy harvest and appetite suppression. The development pipeline is fuelled by its proprietary OptiScreen® and OptiBiotic® platform technologies designed to identify metabolic pathways and compounds that impact on human physiology and bring potential health benefits. These platforms are applicable across a wider range of other human diseases.


The human microbiome

The human digestive tract contains a complex and diverse ecosystem of trillions of bacteria.  Recently, advances in molecular and analytical techniques (metagenomics, metabolomics) have permitted identification and quantitation of species and strains of bacteria that inhabit the gastrointestinal tract, their metabolic activity, and interactions with the human host. These studies have provided greater insight into the role of gut and their metabolites in health and disease.

NIH https://commonfund.nih.gov/hmp/index

Web MD http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/what-your-gut-bacteria-say-your-health#1

About OptiBiotix

OptiBiotix was formed in March 2012 by microbiologist Stephen O’Hara to develop compounds which modify the human microbiome – the collective genome of the microbes in the body – to prevent and manage human disease. 

The aim of OptiBiotix is to discover and develop microbial strains, compounds and formulations, which modulate the human microbiome and can be used as food ingredients and supplements or active compounds for the prevention and management of human metabolic diseases, examples of which include obesity, cholesterol and lipid distribution and diabetes. 

OptiBiotix has established a pipeline of microbiome modulators that can impact on lipid and cholesterol management, energy harvest and appetite suppression. The development pipeline is fuelled by its proprietary OptiScreen® and OptiBiotic® platform technologies designed to identify metabolic pathways and compounds that impact on human physiology and bring potential health benefits. These platforms are applicable across a wider range of other human diseases.

[i][i] “What Are Oligosaccharides and Prebiotics?” https://www.verywell.com/oligosaccharides-and-prebiotics-health-benefits-2242223

[ii][ii] “Here's What the Stevia Sweetener Really Is — And Why Some People Think It Tastes Bad” http://www.businessinsider.com/what-is-stevia-why-does-it-taste-bad-2014-7?IR=T

[ii][iii] “Sugar reduction: Achieving the 20%” https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sugar-reduction-achieving-the-20

Metgen invents novel chemo-enymatic route to FDCA.

By Metgen.

MetGen has invented a revolutionary chemo-enzymatic pathway that enables streamlined processes towards platform chemicals, for example FDCA.

MetGen’s ENZINE® Technology Platform allows the design and production of the necessary enzymes for full bioconversion of glucose. Required enzymatic solutions have not been commercially available – until now. The advantage of this enzymatic reaction stems from the complete conversion of the glucose. In the conventional fructose-based process the conversion between glucose and fructose reaches an equilibrium at less than 50% fructose, therefore requiring an additional and inefficient separation step. It is noteworthy in the case of MetGen’s approach that no additional chemicals or co-factors are needed in order to perform the bioconversion.

Furthermore, MetGen has filed a patent on the chemical route to convert the resulting sugars to oxidized forms of 5-HMF. In that respect the dehydration of the MetGen’s bioconversion product is considered to be much more efficient than the dehydration of fructose: This form of sugar is known to have above 90% conversion yields, whereas fructose dehydration has only around 60% yield.

MetGen’s MetZyme® enzymatic solutions cover the entire bio-based value chain from feedstock to high-value chemicals and enable the use of cellulosic feedstocks as well as the creation of entirely new bio-based materials. In this context, MetGen’s latest innovation also applies to the conversion of all types of cellulosic sugars to more easily chemically convertible sugars. This is believed to represent a major boost to the cost-competitiveness of any biorefinery concept.

Alex Michine, MetGen CEO, states: “In this context, MetGen’s latest innovation on the chemo-enzymatic route to oxidized forms of 5-HMF, is a great example of our capacity to enable entire bio-based industries”.

MetGen’s new innovation therefore allows the possibility of dramatically improving the efficiency and economics of renewable chemicals production including, but not limited to, bioplastics.

On the whole, MetGen’s new innovation therefore provides a possibility of dramatically increasing the efficiency and economics of renewable chemicals including, but not limited to, bioplastics. As such, it is therefore potentially a key accelerator of the displacement of fossil fuels as a feedstock by bio-based alternatives.

Carduso Capital invests in BioBTX

From Bio BTX.

BioBTX is a company based in Groningen-NL that produces chemicals (Aromatics) from Biomass. This technique allows the manufacturing of  ‘green' plastics.

BTX stands for benzene, toluene and xylene. These chemicals are normally extracted from natural crude oil and form the building blocks for plastics. BioBTX developed a way in which the oil can be replaced by biomass.

The Carduso Capital finance will accelerate the scaling up of the technique that already proved itself on lab scale and in test lineups. Frits Kok, fund manager of Carduso says "BioBTX owns a worldwide license on this patented technology and wants to develop it for the usage of a wide range of Biomass. This can be a big step in decreasing independence on crude oil for the production of plastics. BioBTX fits perfect in the regional and technical objectives of Carduso". Cor Kamminga CEO of BioBTX adds: "after the construction of a pilot plant in Groningen it is the intention to roll out the technology into the market. First step will be the construction of a plant in Emmen, together with our partners Cumapol and SunOil, to produce building blocks for example PET packaging for the cosmetic industry out of Glycerin".

BioBTX previously received financial support of SNN and of the provinces of Groningen and Drenthe for its development plans. Also witnessed by the grant from the program ‘Groningen@work’ the province of Groningen is pleased with Carduso financing BioBTX: "In BioBTX we recognize a pioneering sustainable technology company. Development of companies in the 'Green Economy' is of strategic regional value and can have a stimulating effect on the development of job creation in the northern region" said Deputy of the Province of Groningen Patrick Brouns,

Founding partners of BioBTX in 2012 are the Groningen companies KNN group and Syncom. Both are still co-shareholders in BioBTX. From the beginning, the University of Groningen, through the Chemical Technology Department of professor H.J. Heeres, is involved as scientific partner. By this unique collaboration, BioBTX has not just about a breakthrough technology, but also a highly experienced, enthusiastic and driven team of researchers, product- and process-developers and sufficient entrepreneurship.

Neste and Prince Ea’s spoken word films viewed over 560 million times.

From Neste

Neste, the world’s leading producer of renewable diesel, opened up a worldwide sustainability discussion in 2016 with their renewable innovations oriented Pre-order the Future project.

The American spoken word artist and environmentalist Prince Ea as their spokesperson, Neste engaged millions of people in the discussion and created eye-opening films about the importance of responsible choices. The first two collaborative content pieces encouraged people to reach for their dreams and raised questions about the future of the school system. In the latest film called The Future I Believe In Prince Ea highlighted the fact that innovation isn’t about sacrificing the things we already have but about making them better. All films combined gained more than 560 million views on social media.

Pre-order the Future project worked as an initiative for the people to come together and start thinking about the future of our planet. With the help of its followers Neste created five topics of discussion: public spaces, mobility, traveling, education, and entertainment. The topics were formed into product concepts and put under a public vote.

The future of education was chosen as the winning topic of Pre-order the Future with its product concept called EduCycle. Now, after a long prototyping period and multiple beta testings featuring fun days spent with Finnish and American school children, the first official prototype is almost ready be launched.

Stay tuned for EduCycle’s launch and follow the prototyping at www.neste.com/preorderthefuture.

Comet Biorefining Completes Equity Financing.

From Comet Biorefining

28 February 2017 – Comet, an industry leader in the production of high-purity cellulosic dextrose, today announced the completion of a round of equity financing led by new investor PM Equity Partner. Current investor Sofinnova Partners and new investor Bioindustrial Innovation Canada (BIC) also participated in the financing. Terms of the financing were not disclosed.

Comet’s industrial technology converts agricultural residues into high-purity dextrose for the production of sustainable biochemicals. Comet’s cellulosic sugar is not only cost- and quality-competitive with corn or sugarcane-derived products, but importantly, it does not hamper food production and has a superior carbon footprint, improving the sustainability profile of the produced biochemical. The investment will be used to advance the commercialization of Comet’s second-generation sugar production platform and fund construction of the company's previously announced 60 million pounds per year dextrose facility in Sarnia, Ontario.

“We are very pleased to announce this new round of financing, with strong support from Sofinnova Partners and our new investors. The investment reflects confidence in our low-cost, high-purity cellulosic dextrose technology and enables us to deliver a key missing piece in the value chain – a viable source of renewable sugars from non-food biomass,” said Rich Troyer, CEO of Comet.

Joško Bobanović of Sofinnova Partners commented, “We look forward to supporting the Comet management team as they take the company and the technology to the next level. Comet’s project is now well-positioned to enable the profitable production of truly commercial quantities of second-generation sugars and co-products for bio-based applications.”

In March 2016, with strong support from BIC, Comet Biorefining partnered with the Cellulosic Sugar Producers Cooperative located in Western Ontario. The Ontario farmer group plans to invest in and supply corn stover and wheat straw feedstock to Comet’s commercial plant. Sandy Marshall, Executive Director of BIC noted that “The recent investment allows us to continue to support Comet Biorefining’s mission to integrate regional supply chains with innovative new technology partners and enable Sarnia-Lambton to become a leader in the development of sustainable, bio-based products.”

Forward-looking biomass balance approach raises the renewables share in construction products.

  • BASF customer Falk presents innovative sandwich panels produced with BASF’s new biomass balance approach
  • Cooperation to cut fossil resources in the construction sector

More and more companies are committed to greater sustainability and efficient resource use in production. A manufacturer of sandwich panels, BASF customer Falk Bouwsystemen B.V., Netherlands, also endeavors to supply its customers with products contributing to the use of renewable resources. To promote sustainable production throughout the value chain, BASF has developed the biomass balance approach and thus supports customers’ innovation and performance efforts. At the International BouwBeurs construction show in Utrecht, Netherlands, Under the trade name FIBON Falk is now unveiling a continuously produced sandwich element manufactured with the biomass balance approach. Peter Hoekman, Managing Director at Falk, is convinced of the benefits of the innovative method: “I’m delighted that we have succeeded in cooperation with BASF in developing a new product that makes a real contribution to greater sustainability. We therefore show that we’re taking the subject seriously and are able to offer our customers modern, efficient products.”

How it works: The biomass balance in practice
The principle is comparable to that of green electricity. The basic idea involves using renewable resources, such as biogas or bio-naphtha, together with fossil resources in production. The bio share is then arithmetically assigned to certain products using a method certified by the TÜV SÜD technical control board. The share can range from 25 to 100 percent, depending on customer wishes. And with product characteristics absolutely identical to those of the fossil equivalent. “There are no differences in quality or properties. The chemical components derived from renewable and fossil resources are indistinguishable. This means that the construction elements containing our Elastopir® systems always meet the same superlative standards,” says Roel Gunnink, Segment Manager Commercial, BASF Performance Materials.

Joint show of strength
Sustainable action is growing increasingly into a competitive factor that can tip the balance when the customer takes his or her purchase decision. “Each purchase of biomass-balanced products drives the substitution of the relevant quantities of fossil resources with their renewable equivalents at BASF,” explains Jesper Bjerregaard, Head of Marketing at BASF Performance Materials. Ecological responsibility, the conservation of fossil resources, and cutting greenhouse gas emissions go hand in glove with commercial success. BASF helps its customers to adopt innovative methods and exploit new business openings.

Visit the Falk booth at the International BouwBeurs show in Utrecht, Netherlands, Hall 11, Stand F080, from February 6-10, 2017

About BASF
At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. The approximately 112,000 employees in the BASF Group work on contributing to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio is organized into five segments: Chemicals, Performance Products, Functional Materials & Solutions, Agricultural Solutions and Oil & Gas. BASF generated sales of more than €70 billion in 2015. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (BAS). Further information at  www.basf.com.

About BASF’s Performance Materials Division
BASF’s Performance Materials division encompasses the entire materials know-how of BASF regarding innovative, customized plastics under one roof. Globally active in four major industry sectors - transportation, construction, industrial applications and consumer goods – the division has a strong portfolio of products and services combined with a deep understanding of application-oriented system solutions. Key drivers of profitability and growth are our close collaboration with customers and a clear focus on solutions. Strong capabilities in R&D provide the basis to develop innovative products and applications. In 2015, the Performance Materials division achieved global sales of €6.7 bn.

Green Biologics Recognized as a Clean Technology Leader by Two Prestigious Industry Awards.

Specialty chemicals company named in the 2017 Global Cleantech 100 and a 2016 Global Clean Energy Award winner

Ashland, Virginia and Abingdon, Oxfordshire U.K. (January 25, 2017)  Green Biologics, Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Green Biologics Ltd., a U.K. industrial biotechnology and renewable chemicals company, today announced that it has been named to the prestigious 2017 Global Cleantech 100 and recognized in the 2016 Global Clean Energy Awards as the Best Renewable Specialty Chemical Company – UK. Both highly-selective awards programs honor companies worldwide for efforts aimed at tackling today’s energy challenges and contributions to a more sustainable future. Green Biologics was recognized for its Clostridium fermentation platform, which uses sustainable feedstocks to produce high-performance chemicals, such as n-butanol and acetone. These high-value chemicals provide a renewable alternative to conventional petrochemical-based commodities for a growing number of consumer and industrial applications.

“We are extremely proud to receive these two distinguished clean technology recognitions that acknowledge our tireless efforts in bringing renewable chemical alternatives to market,” said Sean Sutcliffe, Chief Executive of Green Biologics. “Both accolades reinforce the industry’s confidence in our technology and are a testament to the significant progress we’ve made over the past year in strengthening our position as a global renewable speciality chemicals company.”

The Global Cleantech 100, produced by the Cleantech Group (CTG), is comprised of the most innovative companies across a wide range of industries and represents those enterprises with the greatest potential to make a significant market impact within the next five to 10 years. Now in its eighth year,  the Global Cleantech 100 list is collated by combining propriety Cleantech Group research data and inputs from a global 86-person expert panel composed of leading financial investors, industrialists, and representatives of multi-national corporations across Asia, Europe and North America.

The Global Clean Energy Awards are produced by Global Energy News, a global publication on the pulse of the latest news, research and developments impacting the energy sector. Winning companies are selected through a combination of votes gathered from the Global Energy News network and its rigorous in-house research.

These recognitions follow closely behind the start of commerical shippings at Green Biologics’ first commercial facility in Little Falls, MN. Green Biologics is a member of the American Chemistry Council (ACC), and its commercial facility is actively working toward meeting Responsible Care® standards. To learn more, please visit www.greenbiologics.com.


Capricorn Venture Partners announces first closing of its Capricorn Sustainable Chemistry Fund (CSCF) at € 50 million.

Leuven, Belgium: December 23th, 2016 – Capricorn Venture Partners, is pleased to announce the closing of the 1st round of financing for the Capricorn Sustainable Chemistry Fund (CSCF) at € 50million, an important milestone in the fundraising process. Key investors in this first closing are Quest for Growth public privak, ARKimedes-Fonds II (ParticipatieMaatschappij Vlaanderen), FPIM (Federale Participatie en Investeringsmaatschappij), SRIW (Société Regionale d’Investissement de Wallonie), family offices and entrepreneurs.

The objective of the Fund is to create shareholder value through financial return combined with the Sustainability Impact of the planned investments. CSCF offers a unique opportunity to investors to contribute to a more sustainable future through innovative new technologies, based on renewable/non-fossil resources that provide performance and value, while protecting and enhancing human health and the environment.

Sustainable chemistry uses natural resources and processes to make products that have a reduced carbon footprint, and a better environmental profile. As such the Capricorn Sustainable Chemistry Fund will capture growing opportunities emerging from a wave of innovation across the value chain, from alternative feedstocks to more sustainable solutions for everyday products in food & feed, fibers & fuels, and functional materials for a broad range of applications.

Dr. Jos Peeters, Founder and Managing Partner of Capricorn Venture Partner sees strong potential for CSCF: “As the world is facing the growing challenges of global warming, the number of breakthrough, innovative solutions to reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs) will increase rapidly. CSCF is uniquely positioned to help develop sustainable alternatives that offer significant and lasting reduction in GHC emissions compared to existing petrochemical processes”.

Capricorn Sustainable Chemistry Fund is therefore off to a strong start, with € 50 million in committed capital, and additional commitments and indications of significant interest. The fund will extend its investor base in the next 12 months, and expects a final closing in the € 100-150 million range.

About Capricorn Venture Partners

Capricorn Venture Partners is an independent European manager of venture capital and equity funds, investing in innovative European companies with technology as competitive advantage. The investment team of Capricorn is composed of experienced investment managers with deep technology expertise and a broad industrial experience. Capricorn Venture Partners is investing out of the venture capital funds Capricorn Cleantech Fund, Capricorn Health‐tech Fund and Capricorn ICT Fund. In addition it is the asset manager of Quest for Growth, quoted on NYSE Euronext Brussels, and the investment manager of Quest Cleantech Fund, sub‐fund of Quest Management SICAV (www.capricorn.be).

For more information
Dr Jos B. Peeters, Managing Director
Capricorn Venture Partners NV
Lei 19/1 - B-3000 Leuven (Belgium)
Tel: +32(0)16 28 41 00

Insect Breeding Innovator Ynsect Raises $15.2m to Help Build a Sustainable Global Food System. 

● Latest round brings total raised to $37m.
● News comes as EU authorizes use of insect proteins in fish feed.
● Ynsect uses robotics and A.I.-enhanced vertical farming tech.
● Insect protein essential to feed growing global population.

Paris and London, 15th December 2016 – Ynsect– the global leader in the mass-scale breeding of insects for the animal feed markets – today announces that it has closed a $15.2m Series B round led by Future Positive Capital and Bpifrance Ecotechnologies, with participation from existing investors Emertec, Demeter, Vis Vires New Protein Capital and Business Angels. This latest round brings the cumulative amount Ynsect has raised, from private and public sources, to $37m over the last three years – the largest-ever investment in the sector.

The announcement comes as EU member states this week endorsed a European Commission proposal to allow the wider use of insect proteins in animal feed. A vote taken on Tuesday, during a session of the EU Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (SCoPAFF), clears the way for insect proteins to be used in fish feed in Europe from July 2017. An industry game-changer, the decision was brought about in large part thanks to the advocacy work of the International Platform for Insects for Food and Feed (IPIFF), of which Ynsect’s CEO Antoine Hubert is President.

Ynsect farms and transforms insects into a high-quality natural diet for livestock and pet nutrition. With cutting-edge R&D, patented technologies and a world-leading multidisciplinary team, whose skills range from physiological entomology to biochemistry through robotics and IT, Ynsect was founded on a single visionary idea: placing insect-derived protein at the heart of the agri-food system to sustainably address the growing global demand for meat and fish.

“Few people today are aware of how the animals they eat have been fed,” explains Ynsect CEO Antoine Hubert, who cofounded the company in September 2011 alongside Alexis Angot, Jean-Gabriel Levon and Fabrice Berro. “In fact, farmed animals mostly consume GM soya, grains, and sometimes poultry feather meal, as well as fish meal. It was fish meal, in particular, which caught our attention.

“Fish meal is derived from catches of small fish, the global supply of which is under duress due to overfishing. In turn, that’s causing severe depletion of ocean biodiversity, and leading to food safety concerns due to the high content of heavy metals which bio-accumulate within dwindling fish stocks.”

While insects account for a significant share of the diets of fish, birds and mammals in the wild, the same isn’t true of their farmed equivalents, Antoine Hubert continues. “At Ynsect, we produce insect proteins that can change this unnatural and unsustainable situation. We can now feed animals with a higher quality and more nutritious diet, while reducing the amount of fish meal they consume. Crucially, we can also combine this with far greater sustainability.”

Disruptive technology.

Ynsect’s main product today is known as ‘TMP’ - Tenebrio molitor protein - a de-fatted protein meal made of farmed mealworm larvae. To date, TMP is the only insect protein that shows considerable benefits to animal growth and health, when fish meal is substituted with TMP in their diets.

The company has designed proprietary technology to farm mealworm larvae, as well as other insects. Automation and machine-learning software are connected to sensors embedded in the farm, to ensure the highest-possible welfare standards for the insects, while promoting animal growth and safeguarding operators’ health. As well as owning the leading patent portfolio in the sector globally, Ynstitute -- as Ynsect’s headquarters and R&D centre is known -- is the largest private research facility in this field worldwide.

Antoine Hubert and the team will use the investment to increase capacity at Ynsite, Ynsect’s pilot centre in Jura, France, and to begin preparatory engineering work on the world’s largest insect unit that will have the capacity to produce at least 20,000 metric tons of insect protein a year.

The company’s initial focus has been on early-adopter fish feed and pet food companies, for whom the superior quality and 72% protein content of Ynsect’s TMP – which is the same protein level as that of the highest-grade fish meal – is a major selling point. Once Ynsect’s new unit begins production, the team expects several large animal feed players to become customers.

“The four of us started the company because we wanted to improve a global food system that is unsustainable and leading to a host of undesired impacts, including growing greenhouse gas emissions, the collapse in oceanic biodiversity and anxieties over food safety and security,” says Antoine Hubert. “That’s why we’re so delighted that some of the most renowned and innovative investors in the food tech and clean tech sectors, Future Positive Capital and Bpifrance Ecotechnologies, are joining us to help make our vision - of insects playing the same leading role in the global food system as they occupy in the wild - a reality.”

Sofia Hmich, founder of Future Positive Capital, says: “This investment shows our long-term commitment to finding and supporting companies who are tackling intractable global challenges head on, with world-beating IP and flawless execution. We’re so excited for Antoine and his team, and looking forward to seeing Ynsect grow into a major global agro-food player.” (Sofia Hmich has published a post that highlights her investment thesis about Ynsect.)

Gilles Schang, Deputy Managing Director Ecotechnology Investments at Bpifrance Investment, adds: “Ynsect is a true pioneer in breeding insects for animal feed and has established itself as the frontrunner in the rapid development of this market. We are delighted to be positioning ourselves alongside the company’s founders and management in order to make Ynsect the global leader of disruptive agro-food technologies and to deploy worldwide the expertise they have developed in France.”
Ynsect was advised for this fundraising round by Alantra.Amyris Partners with Queensland to Create the leading Industrial Biotechnology Hub in Southeast Asia


Amyris Partners with Queensland to Create the leading Industrial Biotechnology Hub in Southeast Asia

Amyris, Inc. (Nasdaq:AMRS), the industrial bioscience company, and the Government of Queensland, Australia today announced a partnership to create a southeast hub of sustainable ingredients production for the rapidly-growing personal care sector in Asia, while supporting Queensland's local economy and sugarcane industry. The partnership aims to develop a new production plant with support from local partners. The plant will produce Amyris's high-value personal care and nutraceutical actives, as well as farnesene-derivative products.

Globally, key trends are driving expansion in the market for sustainable ingredients that are natural and plant-derived rather than animal derived, and that are efficient and pure, yet offer high-performing characteristics. With economic expansion and growing consumer demand for high quality skin care and nutraceutical products in Asian countries this market is one of the fastest-growing markets in the world for Amyris products and technology. 

Amyris ingredients are naturally derived from sustainable sources and are delivering disruptive performance to its partner companies and to their consumers. Many of these companies are based in Asian countries and have significant current and projected growth.

Queensland is the perfect location to build a strong Industrial Biotechnology hub and manufacturing base to supply these markets given its resources, cost-effective sugar supply source and geographic location. The combination of Amyris, the world's leading industrial biotechnology with domain expertise in advanced bio-manufacturing of sustainable products in partnership with Queensland to support additional manufacturing capacity and access to its local highly educated workforce and sugarcane is anticipated to create a leading source of product and strong economic development for the region. Should the first plant begin producing in 2020 for Southeast Asian markets, it is anticipated that $60-$80 million in annual revenue would be generated. This would potentially give a 2-3 year payback for investors in the production plant.

"We welcome Amyris to Queensland and look forward to their pursuit of innovative ideas. Amyris will enhance Queensland's reputation as a supportive investment location for the industrial biotechnology and bioproducts sector. The Queensland Government is committed to continuing to work with Amyris and will assist in connecting the company with local suppliers and businesses," said The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk MP, Premier of Queensland.

"We're delighted to working with Queensland to facilitate the creation of what we expect will be a leading Industrial Biotechnology hub supplying growing demand in Southeast Asia," said John Melo, Amyris President & CEO. "We're very encouraged at the commitment to innovation and sustainability demonstrated by the Government of Queensland. The sustainability and performance of the local sugarcane industry enables us to make this our second global technology and manufacturing center, beyond our strong base in Brazil. We expect this to be our first large scale implementation of our capital light growth model, where we bring the technology and the end customers and our partners fund and operate the manufacturing. This model enables us to create more opportunities to provide sustainable products for a better planet."

Amyris and the Government of Queensland are actively working on this program to facilitate pathways for the development of a commercial plant and production. Through this alignment of each parties' common goals, clear lines have been established and first industrial production of product at the new production facility is expected to occur in 2020.

The two parties have enjoyed a long-term successful relationship in working together to support global sustainability initiatives, growth in renewable products and diversification of Queensland's economy. This initially began with the Queensland Government's 2010 Queensland Sustainable Aviation Fuel Initiative, which studied the feasibility of locally producing aviation biofuels using Queensland sugar. More recently, in June 2016, Amyris and the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology at The University of Queensland signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to support the development of a Queensland-based biotechnology industry using feedstock from local sugarcane.

About Amyris

Amyris is the integrated renewable products company that is enabling the world's leading brands to achieve sustainable growth. Amyris applies its innovative bioscience solutions to convert plant sugars into hydrocarbon molecules and produce specialty ingredients and consumer products. The company is delivering its No Compromise® products across a number of markets, including specialty and performance chemicals, flavors and fragrances, cosmetics ingredients, and pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals. More information about the company is available at www.Amyris.com

Global bioplastics production capacities continue to grow despite low oil price.

Stronger political support needed to realise full potential of bio-based materials in Europe 

Berlin, 30 November 2016. The results of European Bioplastics’ annual market data update, presented today at the 11th European Bioplastics Conference in Berlin, confirm a stable growth of the global bioplastics industry. “The market is predicted to grow by 50 percent over the coming years despite the low oil price,” says François de Bie, Chairman of European Bioplastics. 

The global bioplastics production capacity is set to increase from around 4.2 million tonnes in 2016 to approximately 6.1 million tonnes in 2021. Packaging remains the largest fields of application for bioplastics with almost 40 percent (1.6 million tonnes) of the total bioplastics market in 2016. The data also confirms a decisive increase in the uptake of bioplastics materials in many other sectors, including consumer goods (22 percent, 0.9 million tonnes) and applications in the automotive and transport sector (14 percent, 0.6 million tonnes) and the construction and building sector (13 percent, 0.5 million tonnes), where technical performance polymers are being used. 

“The data illustrates an important trend, driven by changing consumer demands, to make plastic products more resource efficient and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the dependency on fossil resources,” explains de Bie. “This trend is the result of substantial investments in research and development by the many innovative small and large companies that concentrate their strengths on the development of bio-based products designed with the circular economy in mind.” 

Bio-based, non-biodegradable plastics, such as polyurethanes (PUR)(*1) and drop-in solutions, such as bio-based PE and bio-based PET, are the main drivers of this growth, with PUR  making up around 40 percent and PET over 20 percent of the global bioplastics production capacities. More than 75 percent of the bioplastics production capacity worldwide in 2016 was bio-based, durable plastics. This share will increase to almost 80 percent in 2021. Production capacities of biodegradable plastics, such as PLA, PHA, and starch blends, are also growing steadily from around 0.9 million tonnes in 2016 to almost 1.3 million tonnes in 2021. PHA production will almost quadruple by 2021 compared to 2016, due to a ramp-up of capacities in Asia and the USA and the start-up of the first PHA plant in Europe. With a view to regional capacity development, Asia will further expand its role as major production hub. In 2021, more than 45 percent of bioplastics will be produced in Asia. Around a quarter of the global bioplastics production capacity will be located in Europe.

Bioplastics are a growing, innovative industry that offers solutions for a sustainable plastics economy and that plays a key role in the transformation to a bio-based circular economy. Yet, despite these advantages, the data shows that the overall growth of the global bioplastics industry is currently being slowed down by the low oil prices and a lack of political support for the bio-based economy. 

“A European policy framework that secures equal access to bio-based resources within the bioeconomy and that creates a level playing field for bio-based materials and conventional materials is of paramount importance,” says Hasso von Pogrell, Managing Director of European Bioplastics. “As is the acknowledgement of the facilitating role of compostable plastics and other innovative materials designed for circularity during their use and end-of-life for making waste stream management more efficient. We therefore urge EU legislators to consider the many benefits of bio-based materials in the implementation of the EU Circular Economy Package and to support initiatives to develop a global carbon-pricing mechanism to incorporate the external costs of climate change into product prices and that way enable the market penetration of greenhouse gas saving materials like bioplastics,” concludes von Pogrell. 

The market data update 2016 has been compiled in cooperation with the research institute nova-Institute (Hürth, Germany). The data for the global production capacities of bioplastics is based on the market study “Bio-based Building Blocks and Polymers” by nova-Institute (2016), which looks at the entire scope of bio-based polymers, including bio-based thermosets such as epoxies, EPDM, and cellulose acetate (CA), which are not included in the scope of new economy bioplastics from European Bioplastics. For more information on the study and full market data report, please go to www.bio-based.eu/markets

Reverdia and Xinfu Sign Agreement for Biosuccinium® Supply and Collaboration 

Reverdia announced today that it has signed a strategic partnership with Hangzhou Xinfu Science & Technology Co., Ltd. (Xinfu). The partnership represents a collaboration to adopt Biosuccinium® in bio-based polymers and co-polymers for the packaging industry, as well as a long-term supply agreement.
Xinfu is a global pioneer in fully biodegradable resins and films. It will exclusively use Biosuccinium® for producing bio-based polymers, derivatives and new cutting-edge biomaterials for packaging applications such as (compostable) single-use bags.

Mr. Lin, Executive Director at Xinfu and Member of the Board said, “We have been working with Reverdia since 2011 and proudly commit to this long-term partnership, which will develop more sustainable technologies and materials.” 

“These new materials will target the biodegradable packaging market,” said Marcel Lubben, President of Reverdia. “We’re excited to work with an industry pioneer like Xinfu on bio-based solutions and this agreement is yet another example of Reverdia’s global leadership in value chain innovation.”

About Hangzhou Xinfu Science & Technology Co., Ltd.: Based in China, Hangzhou Xinfu is a global industry pioneer in fully biodegradable resins and films. It possesses leading in-house R&D from manufacturing to business development and builds a strong portfolio on its new generation of bio-based plastics.

About Reverdia: Reverdia enables the bio-based materials of tomorrow with its industry-leading Biosuccinium® offering. It works with brand owners and manufacturers on application co-development for sustainable products. Produced since 2012, Biosuccinium® is sold globally. The Biosuccinium® Technology is also offered under license to value chain partners and co-producers.  

Rivertop Renewables’ Sodium Glucarate Meets EPA’s “Safer Choice” Criteria.

High-performing, cost-effective corrosion inhibitor is safer for families, pets, workplaces, neighborhoods, and the environment

By Rivertop Renewables

Rivertop Renewables a Montana-based novel chemicals company, announced that sodium glucarate produced by the company’s breakthrough oxidation technology has been listed on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Safer Chemicals Ingredients List (SCIL). Chemicals on the SCIL have been certified by the EPA as safer than traditional chemical ingredients, helping formulators secure the Safer Choice label for end products sold to industry and consumers.  Rivertop’s product is the first chemical with corrosion inhibiting properties to secure full approval for the SCIL.

“Rivertop is honored and energized that our corrosion inhibitor is the first to qualify for EPA’s safer chemicals list. This is a win for Rivertop and end-product developers that are facing increasing demands to meet environmental and health standards without sacrificing performance or economics,” said Mike Knauf, Chief Executive Officer of Rivertop Renewables. “From the beginning we’ve set out to develop a set of novel chemicals and products based on simple plant sugars that are safe for the environment and human health. Securing the EPA’s stamp of approval confirms that with Rivertop’s sodium glucarate there is no need to compromise environmental performance for product performance or cost.”

Sodium glucarate enables superior performance from two Rivertop products.  Waterline™ CI is designed to be a high-performing alternative to phosphorous-based corrosion inhibitors in the water treatment industry. Headwaters® corrosion inhibitor for salt brine is used to de-ice winter roads while protecting vehicles and highway infrastructure from corrosion.

To qualify for EPA’s SCIL, a product or chemical ingredient must meet EPA’s Safer Choice Standard, which is based on stringent human and environmental health criteria. Currently, the Safer Choice Program has nearly 500 formulator-manufacturer partners who make more than 2,000 products for retail and institutional customers.

Rivertop’s products are based on salts of glucaric acid, recognized more than a decade ago by the U.S. Department of Energy as one of the top 12 “biobased building block chemicals.” Traditional pathways to produce glucaric, other sugar acids and their salts have been costly, energy intensive and environmentally challenging, relegating their use to niche pharmaceutical and nutraceutical applications. By applying robust and proven science to renewable resources, Rivertop is creating an abundant and far more economical supply of glucarate and other green chemicals and bioproducts

Using Nature’s Design Principles to Create a Radically Sustainable Food System Winners announced for food systemfocused biomimicry innovation challenge.
Hundreds of students and professionals answered the call to help fix our broken food system by looking to nature to create design solutions. Now, after receiving 86 submissions from 18 countries, the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge judges have chosen ten winning teams to receive cash prizes and, for some, the chance to bring their biomimetic solution to market and compete for the $100,000 Ray C. Anderson Foundation Ray of Hope Prize.

A team of high school girls from Ontario, Canada, has captured first prize in the student category by looking to organisms that can survive in waterscarce regions for inspiration for their design, a watercapture device. In the open category, seven winning teams have been chosen to receive a cash prize and an invitation to enter the 2016/17 Biomimicry Accelerator, which culminates in the $100,000 Ray C. Anderson Foundation Ray of Hope Prize. Their innovations include a photosynthetic membrane to extract more nutrients from compost by mimicking bacteria, an app that emulates how ants communicate to help reduce food waste, and a device that makes it possible for citydwellers to capture, store, and distribute rainwater for hyperlocal food production. A full list of the winners can be found here.

“This year’s group of finalists for the Ray of Hope Prize are incredibly diverse,” says John Lanier, executive director of the Ray C. Anderson Foundation. “Each team’s design focuses on a different challenge in our broader food system, emphasizing two realities. First, opportunities for innovation are abundant throughout that system. Second, biomimicry is the right design tool
to bring these innovations to life.”

The Biomimicry Institute ’s Biomimicry Global Design Challenge , asks participants to tackle any aspect of the food system that could be improved by looking to nature for design guidance. The focus of the first two years of the challenge has been on key food and agriculture issues like waste, packaging, agricultural pest management, food distribution, energy use, and other
solutions. The Biomimicry Institute engaged 50 judges, themselves biologists, business leaders, venture capitalists, biomimics, and agricultural specialists, to select the winning teams in the 2016 Challenge.

The upcoming accelerator program will be the second one the Biomimicry Institute has run as part of the annual competition. Currently, the first accelerator teams are finalizing their prototypes and business plans in preparation for the Ray C. Anderson Foundation Ray of Hope Prize award event, to be held at the Bioneers conference in San Rafael, CA on October 22,

"This is our first cohort of finalists to produce working prototypes, which makes them trailblazers” says Beth Rattner, executive director of the Biomimicry Institute. “Doing biomimicry is hard, submitting practical and inspired design concepts is far harder, and making them actually work and solve the problem is extraordinary. We are immensely proud of these teams
and I believe we will being seeing at least a few of them make it all the way to market."

The Ray of Hope Prize honors the legacy of Interface Founder Ray Anderson, who funded the Foundation upon his passing in 2011. Anderson was famously inspired by radical new approaches to centuriesold design and manufacturing techniques, and sought them out when rethinking his $1 billion, global carpet tile company’s products and processes.

The Ray C. Anderson Foundation has pledged $1.5 million over four years to support the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge, a multiyear effort to crowdsource, support, and seed promising innovations inspired by nature. Each year beginning in 2016, the Institute and Foundation together will award the $100,000 “Ray of Hope” Prize to the most viable prototype that embodies the radical sustainability principles of biomimicry.

A new round of the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge will open in October and will focus on climate change. This will be another opportunity for teams to join and compete for the $100,000 Ray of Hope Prize. Individuals and teams can learn more about the previous finalists and winners and register for the next round of the challenge at challenge, biomimicry.org.
Erin Connelly
+1 (415) 8001407

DuPont Industrial Biosciences Launches New DuPont™ SYNERXIA® Fermentation System

By DuPont Industrial Biosciences

New System Will Help Ethanol Producers Increase Profits and Yields While Lowering Residual Sugars

WILMINGTON, Del., June 20, 2016 – Today, DuPont Industrial Biosciences announced the launch of its DuPont™ SYNERXIA® Fermentation System, a ground-breaking approach to fermentation that will help ethanol producers improve their yields by up to 2 percent, while lowering total sugar levels at drop by up to 25 percent.

“We believe that the best technology delivers performance and is easy to use,” said Troy Wilson, global business leader, Grain Processing.  “The SYNERXIA® Fermentation System launched today is designed to do just that – deliver better performance and take the guesswork out of dosing glucoamylase with bioengineered yeast.”

The system includes SYNERXIA® PRIME ADYT, a bioengineered yeast paired with the world’s only commercial dry trehalase. Compared to cream yeast, DuPont’s active dry yeast requires no special storage or handling.

The system also includes SYNERXIA® PRIME LC, a new glucoamylase blend that delivers three times the debranching activity of conventional glucoamylase. The glucoamylase included in the SYNERXIA® Fermentation System liberates more glucose for the yeast to ferment, improving ethanol yield.

Additional benefits include 20-25 percent lower sugar levels at drop and full end-to-end onsite technical support.

Representatives from DuPont Industrial Biosciences will be on hand at the Fuel Ethanol Workshop (FEW) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, June 20-23 to discuss the new offering with customers.  Attendees also are encouraged to listen to Vivek Sharma, one of the developers of the system, on the FEW Innovation Stage Tuesday, June 21, at 2:40 p.m. CT.

DuPont Industrial Biosciences works with customers across a wide range of industries to improve products and make processes more sustainable. Through a unique combination of biotechnology, chemical and material science capabilities, we are focused on providing market-driven, bio-based solutions to meet the needs of a growing population, while protecting our environment for future generations.

DuPont (NYSE: DD) has been bringing world-class science and engineering to the global marketplace in the form of innovative products, materials, and services since 1802. The company believes that by collaborating with customers, governments, NGOs, and thought leaders we can help find solutions to such global challenges as providing enough healthy food for people everywhere, decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, and protecting life and the environment. For additional information about DuPont and its commitment to inclusive innovation, please visit www.dupont.com.

Syngulon announces the issuance by the USPTO of US patent 9,333,227 covering the use of bacteriocin/immunity for controlled growth of microorganisms.

By Syngulon.

On May 10, 2016 the USPTO issued a patent to Syngulon for the use of bacteriocin/immunity in any bacteria, yeast or algae for controlled growth of microorganisms.

This issued patent, based on an application filed in August 2013, is part of a new worldwide patent portfolio developed by Syngulon and available for licensing in all fields of use on a nonexclusive base.

The inventor of this patent is Dr Philippe Gabant, Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Syngulon, one of the pioneers in the development of selection technologies. Dr Philippe Gabant is co-inventor of US patents 5,910,438 / 6,180,407 / 7,176,029 licensed on an exclusive base to Invitrogen for the selection of recombinant plasmids. Dr Philippe Gabant is also co-inventor of US patent 8,470,580 for the production of recombinant protein that has been licensed on nonexclusive base to Sanofi Pasteur, GSK and Merck.

This new patent of Syngulon, US 9,333,227, covers “a system for controlling growth of microbial organisms in a culture medium comprising a genetically engineered microbial cell […] “comprising” […] “nucleic acid sequence encoding a secreted bacteriocin which controls the growth of a second microbial cell, said secreted bacteriocin capable of inhibiting or preventing reproduction of said genetically engineered microbial cell in the absence of a cell immunity modulator that confers resistance to said secreted bacteriocin” […] “wherein said genetically engineered microbial cell is selected from the group consisting of bacteria, yeast, and algae.”

About Syngulon

Syngulon is a Synthetic Biology startup focusing on microbial fermentation technologies for bio-based products. Syngulon has started to generate a patent portfolio of genetic technologies focusing on the control of industrial microrefineries to solve key issues: 

  1. Genetic security
  2. Increase yield by industrial Genetic Bio-control
  3. Contamination prevention against microbial invaders
  4. Genetic safety (= Gene containment)

Stora Enso strengthens bio-based chemicals development and signs a joint technology development and license agreement with Rennovia

By Stora Enso

Renewable materials company Stora Enso and specialty chemicals company Rennovia Inc have announced a joint development and license agreement to cooperate on bio-based chemicals development.   
Under the terms of the agreement, the two companies will cooperate to develop processes for bio-based chemicals of interest to Stora Enso, employing Rennovia’s high-throughput catalyst discovery infrastructure and process development expertise. Rennovia focuses on the technology development of novel catalysts and processes for the cost advantaged production of chemicals from renewable feedstocks.
As Stora Enso is targeting new markets and developing novel products as it transforms into a renewable materials company, the agreement is a logical step for the company.
“The joint development and technology agreement will accelerate some of the developments Stora Enso is working on and gives us a solid platform to move further in building a portfolio of sustainable bio-based solutions for our customers. We are looking forward to collaborating with Rennovia,” said Juan Carlos Bueno, Executive Vice President, Biomaterials division at Stora Enso.

“This agreement underscores the broad applicability of Rennovia’s catalytic technologies to the production of a wide range of bio-based chemical products,” said Robert Wedinger, President and CEO of Rennovia. “We are delighted that Stora Enso recognizes our catalyst and process technologies as an efficient, cost-effective platform for producing bio-based chemicals.”

Paints Launched By Mäder Based On Reverdia’s Biosuccinium™ 

By Mäder Group

Mäder, the leading producer of paints and coatings, will launch its new range of bio-based alkyd paints using Biosuccinium™ from Reverdia, in collaboration with Roquette.  The new innovative paint range is based on a combination of Reverdia’s Biosuccinium™ and Roquette’s POLYSORB® isosorbide, allowing for key physical properties, such as hardness and scratch resistance.  Both Biosuccinium™ and POLYSORB® are commercially available bio-based materials.

Commercialised under the brand CAMI, the CADÉLI range includes two EU Ecolabel-certified products.  Both are 98% bio-based and have additional functionalities:

  • CADÉLI Anti-Microbial interior paint
  • CADÉLI Depolluting (anti-formaldehyde) interior paint

Marcel Lubben, Reverdia’s President said, “These new paints respond to growing consumer demand for safe and environmentally friendly products with a lower carbon footprint.  Once again, Biosuccinium™ has enabled a sustainable, market-ready solution." 

Mäder Group website: www.mader-group.com

CAMI website: www.peintures-cami.fr

RSC Bio Solutions Expands Series of Biodegradable Lithium Complex Greases

RSC Bio Solutions, a global leader in environmentally acceptable lubricants and cleaners, recently announced the expansion of its EnviroLogic® 800 series of biodegradable greases. The EnviroLogic 800 series are VGP compliant, biodegradable Lithium Complex greases designed to operate in severe outdoor environments and withstand corrosion.

RSC Bio Solutions is introducing EnviroLogic 800 and EnviroLogic 801 greases to further compliment the already established EnviroLogic 802, allowing the company to offer solutions for additional applications when specifications call for NLGI grades #0 and #1.  

“We are very pleased that we can expand our grease offering to include #0 and #1 NLGI grades with the same environmental profile as our #2 NLGI grade EnviroLogic 802,” said Dr. Bernard C. Roell, Jr., vice president of technology at RSC Bio Solutions. “No single grade of grease is capable of meeting all application needs and it only made sense that we expand this product line to include lower NLGI grades.”

The EnviroLogic 800 series were specifically designed for multi-purpose high performance industrial applications where incidental environmental exposure is a cause for concern. They operate in equipment or systems over a wide temperature range in both marine and land applications. Examples of marine applications include deck cranes, davits, fin stabilizers, shaft bearings, controllable pitch propellers, stern thrusters, barges, roll on/roll off (RO/RO) hatches, cargo hold doors and other moving parts on ships. On land, the EnviroLogic 800 series could be used in any application where grease could end up in the environment, such as garage doors, tracks, hinges, trailers and construction equipment.

The EnviroLogic 800 series demonstrate excellent low temperature pumpability, extreme pressure, antiwear protection and oil separation stability during storage. They are biodegradable and will not cause harm to aquatic life or animals.

EnviroLogic sustainable lubricants are suitable, proven and approved for a wide range of applications, and meet a wide range of ISO grades and industry performance specifications. These solutions maintain technical feasibility evident in the many original equipment manufacturer (OEM) approvals, including: Aegir, Blohm & Voss, Eaton/Vickers, Linde, Rolls Royce, Rexroth, Komatsu and Wärtsilä.

About RSC Bio Solutions, LLC

Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, RSC Bio Solutions has 20 years of history and is committed to providing sustainable solutions for unforgiving environments by offering equipment operators high-performing, sustainable alternatives that allow them to meet the demanding needs of their operations while reducing environmental and employee risk. RSC Bio Solutions’ EnviroLogic® branded technology includes a full line of lubricants – hydraulic fluids, gear oils and greases – additionally offering an innovative line of cleaners and solvents for industrial markets. For more information, visit www.rscbio.com.


Proprietary Formula Combines Bulletproof Brain Octane Oil and Grass-Fed Butter in a Convenient Powder Form 

LOS ANGELES – April 13, 2016 – Biohacker, bestselling author and Bulletproof Coffee CEO Dave Asprey announces today the launch of Bulletproof InstaMix high-performance coffee creamer.

The first of its kind, Bulletproof InstaMix combines the power of Bulletproof Brain Octane Oil and butter from grass-fed cows in a convenient powder that quickly dissolves in Bulletproof Upgraded Coffee, providing sustained energy from quality fats to upgrade your morning and power your day – with no blender required.

Like traditional, blender-mixed, Bulletproof Coffee, Bulletproof InstaMix contains the unique fatty acids in Brain Octane Oil, the most effective medium chain triglyceride (MCT) found in the heart of the coconut, and butter from pasture-raised cows that is both tasty and healthy, containing the important short-chain fat butyrate and vitamin K2 to help support cardiovascular health and bone maintenance. 

“Bulletproof InstaMix is a game changer,” says Asprey. “Millions of men and women around the world power their day and maximize their performance with Bulletproof Coffee. And now they can literally enjoy the benefits of Bulletproof anywhere at any time.  With a simple packet and some quick shaking, it is easy to upgrade your coffee and your day – no matter where that day takes you.” 

Bulletproof InstaMix is free of growth hormones commonly used in dairy products and contains no sugar, artificial flavorings or sweeteners, soy, wheat or chemical preservatives. Available in convenient single-serve packets, InstaMix is the perfect way to make the delicious, satisfying, energizing Bulletproof Coffee you love wherever you go - with no refrigeration or blender required.

Available today, Bulletproof InstaMix can be ordered at www.bulletproof.com/instamix

About Bulletproof

Founded by biohacker, bestselling author and Bulletproof Coffee creator Dave Asprey, Bulletproof is dedicated to providing the world with groundbreaking, science-based information, techniques, tools and products to help people perform better, increase focus, enhance energy, and live longer.  Resources include #1 ranked radio show and podcast Bulletproof Radio, the New York Times bestselling book THE BULLETPROOF DIET, documentary feature film MOLDY, The Bulletproof Executive blog, and more. Twitter: @bulletproofexec  Instagram: @bulletproofcoffee  https://www.bulletproofexec.com

About Bulletproof Coffee

Bulletproof Coffee is a proprietary blend of Bulletproof Upgraded Coffee, Brain Octane Oil and unsalted, grass-fed butter. Created by biohacker and Bulletproof CEO Dave Asprey, Bulletproof Coffee is free of the detectable mycotoxins often found in traditional coffee and contains healthy, energizing fats that help increase focus, improve mental clarity, satisfy cravings and keep hunger at bay. 

GE’s Distributed Power Business Signs Milestone Parts Supply Agreement with US Jenbacher Gas Engines Distributor

  • GE Signs Comprehensive 20-Year Material Stream Agreement with Nixon Energy Solutions
  • MSA to Cover Supply of Parts for 11 Jenbacher Landfill Gas-Powered Engines in Georgia
  • Agreement to Serve as Important Model of Distributed Power Customer Fulfilment

JENBACH, AUSTRIA—April 8, 2016—GE’s Distributed Power business (NYSE: GE) today announced it has signed a milestone 20-year parts supply agreement with Nixon Energy Solutions (NES) to strengthen Nixon’s ability to ensure the long-term availability and reliability of 11 of GE’s Jenbacher gas engines that will power three new landfill gas-to-energy (LFGE) facilities in Georgia. The agreement marks GE’s first comprehensive material stream agreement (MSA) with an authorized Jenbacher gas engine distributor in the United States.

Under the MSA, GE’s Distributed Power service business will provide planned and unplanned parts to 11 of GE’s Ecomagination, 2.17-megawatt (MW) J616 Jenbacher gas engines that NES is providing to MAS Georgia LFG, a Georgia-based renewable energy project. NES, a division of Brentwood, Tennessee-based Nixon Power Services, is GE’s authorized Jenbacher gas engines distributor in 13 states in the southeastern and mid-Atlantic U.S.

Nixon will use the parts to ensure the availability and reliability of the Jenbacher landfill gas-powered engines, which will produce a total of 24 MW of renewable electricity at the Oak Grove Landfill, Pine Ridge Landfill and Richland Creek Landfill in Georgia. The three new LFGE power plants are scheduled to be operational by the second quarter of 2016.

“The MSA with Nixon Energy Solutions illustrates our commitment to strengthen our network of gas engines sales and services providers and gives them the support they need to ensure excellent life cycle service for our customers,” said Margherita Adragna, general manager—services for GE’s Distributed Power business. “We are continually working to enhance our local service and equipment fulfillment capabilities to help our customers further improve the economics of their distributed power projects.”

Nixon’s installed fleet of Jenbacher LFGE units will be covered by GE’s regional remote monitoring and diagnostics center as well as internationally via a 24-hour customer service center.

Finding ways to help increase the financial viability of landfill gas projects is a priority for GE and its gas engine distributors as renewable energy developers grapple with various economic pressures—including competition from low natural gas prices and an uncertain outlook for project tax credits and other industry conditions.

“Our new material supply agreement with GE will bolster our ability to ensure the long-term reliability and availability of MAS Georgia’s installed fleet of Jenbacher gas engines, which in turn will help make the projects as cost effective as possible, said Marty Siebert, vice president/managing director, Nixon Energy Solutions.

LGFE projects provide renewable power and help offset fossil fuel-generated electricity associated with greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, by capturing the methane-rich landfill gas to produce on-site power, such projects reduce the amount of methane (a potent greenhouse gas) that can escape from landfills into the atmosphere.

About GE’s Distributed Power business

GE’s Distributed Power business is a leading provider of engines, power equipment and services focused on power generation and gas compression at or near the point of use. Distributed Power offers a diverse product portfolio that includes highly efficient, fuel-flexible, industrial gas engines generating 200 kW to 10 MW each of power for numerous industries globally. In addition, the business provides life cycle support for more than 36,000 gas engines worldwide to help you meet your business challenges and success metrics—anywhere and anytime. Backed by our authorized service providers in more than 170 countries, GE‘s global service network connects with you locally for rapid response to your service needs. GE’s Distributed Power business is headquartered in Jenbach, Austria.

About GE Power

GE Power is a world leader in power generation with deep domain expertise to help customers deliver electricity from a wide spectrum of fuel sources. We are transforming the electricity industry with the digital power plant, the world’s largest and most efficient gas turbine, full balance of plant, upgrade and service solutions as well as our data-leveraging software. Our innovative technologies and digital offerings help make power more affordable, reliable, accessible and sustainable.

For more information, visit the company's website at www.gepower.com. Follow GE Power on Twitter @GE_Power and on LinkedIn at GE Power.


Metabolix Signs MOU with CJ CheilJedang for Strategic Commercial Manufacturing Arrangement

By Metabolix

MOU Provides Path to First Tranche of Commercial Scale Capacity for Metabolix Specialty PHA Production in U.S.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., March 29, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Metabolix, Inc. (NASDAQ:MBLX), an advanced biomaterials company focused on sustainable solutions for the plastics industry, announced today that it has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding ("MOU") with CJ CheilJedang Corporation ("CJ") for a strategic commercial manufacturing arrangement for specialty PHAs, including the Company's newly launched amorphous PHA ("a-PHA"). Under the non-binding MOU, the companies have agreed to work together toward the successful conclusion of definitive agreements under which CJ will fund, construct and operate a 10 kilo tonne PHA production unit at CJ's Fort Dodge, Iowa facility based on Metabolix's PHA technology. Under the contemplated definitive agreements, Metabolix will buy the specialty PHAs produced at the Fort Dodge facility from CJ, and market and sell the materials to its commercial customers. The companies also expect to define a framework for longer term expansion of the collaboration for larger scale PHA production and related commercial activities.

In late 2015 and early 2016, Metabolix and CJ undertook a comprehensive feasibility study and assessment of CJ's Fort Dodge facility as a potential site for specialty PHA production. With the successful conclusion of the feasibility study and engineering plans, CJ is finalizing a detailed budget for the capital investment needed to establish 10 KT of annual PHA capacity on the site and the two companies are turning their attention to the definitive agreements for the project.   

"The MOU with CJ provides a path to establishing the first tranche of commercial production capacity for our specialty PHA biopolymer materials," said Joseph Shaulson, president and CEO of Metabolix. "In addition to the significant investment in manufacturing at Fort Dodge, CJ brings impressive engineering capabilities and operating expertise that will be critical to the success of this project. We look forward to completing the definitive manufacturing agreements and beginning construction on the project in the coming months."

"Metabolix's specialty PHA materials are well aligned technically and commercially with our strategic plan to diversify the products and as CJ's first biopolymer product, a-PHAs will be a stepping stone for further expansion of the biochemical portfolio," said Hang Duk Roh, Head of CJ CheilJedang BIO. "The shift Metabolix has made to focus on a-PHA as a performance additive as well as other specialty applications of PHAs is very promising and we are excited about the synergies that can be gained by combining our facilities and operating capabilities with the ongoing work Metabolix is doing to build the market for specialty biopolymers. Once the modification is completed, the Fort Dodgeproduction facility will produce both lysine and a-PHA, diversifying our product portfolio."

Metabolix has developed an extensive technology platform around a family of biobased and inherently biodegradable polymers called PHAs (polyhydroxyalkanoates). Specifically, Metabolix has focused on using its extensive capabilities in PHA bioscience to create specialty PHAs, including amorphous PHAs with unique chemistries that allow them to be used as multifunctional additives. The company is working to leverage these key material properties of PHA biopolymers in the target application spaces of PVC and PLA modification, functional biodegradation and paper coating. In 2015, Metabolix launched a-PHA from pilot production, and in 2016 is focused on securing initial and recurring sales across the target application spaces in anticipation of growing customer conversions and orders to baseload the new commercial capacity contemplated by the MOU with CJ.

The Fort Dodge production facility is operated by CJ BIO, a division of CJ CheilJedang, a world leader in microbial fermentation based R&D and manufacturing for a range of amino acids, including lysine, as well as nucleotides. CJ BIO operates world-scale fermentation facilities inthe United States, China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brazil. 

About CJ CheilJedang Corporation   

CJ CheilJedang, is a Korean-based food, feed, and bioscience company, and a subsidiary of the CJ Group. CJ CheilJedang is a global leader in the area of industrial biotechnology with innovations in fermentation and purification technologies. CJ is a leading producer of fermentation-based products such as feed amino acids, MSG, and nucleotides with global manufacturing and business operations in 6 continents. As a socially responsible company, CJ strives toward practicing carbon-neutral manufacturing operations by utilizing renewable raw materials and developing value-added co-products to minimize waste into the environment.

For more information, please visit www.cj.co.kr/cj-en/index

About Metabolix

Metabolix, Inc. is an innovation-driven specialty materials company focused on delivering high-performance biopolymer solutions to customers in the plastics industry. Metabolix's Mirel® biopolymers, which are derived from renewable resources, are a family of biobased performance additives and specialty resins based on PHA (polyhydroxyalkanoates). Metabolix's proprietary biotechnology platform enables the creation of specialty biopolymers for use in a broad range of applications such as construction and packaging materials, as well as industrial, consumer and personal care products.

Safe Harbor for Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements which are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. The forward-looking statements in this release do not constitute guarantees of future performance. Investors are cautioned that statements in this press release which are not strictly historical statements, including, without limitation, statements regarding expectations for completing definitive agreements with CJ, establishing commercial scale PHA production capacity, securing customer orders and building market demand for specialty PHAs, constitute forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated, including the risks and uncertainties detailed in Metabolix's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Metabolix assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking information contained in this press release or with respect to the announcements described herein.

Amyris Announces Closing of $20 Million Private Placement.

By Amyris.

Amyris, Inc. (Nasdaq:AMRS), the industrial bioscience company, today announced that it closed a $20 million private placement of unsecured promissory notes to existing investors. In connection with this financing, the company also issued warrants for 2.9 million shares of common stock. The private placement was led by a long-term investor affiliated with one of Amyris’s board members, John Doerr, of the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and included participation by Biolding Investment S.A. and Naxyris S.A., which are also associated with members of the company’s board of directors.  

“We are pleased with the continued growth in our business as we deliver on the promise of our company; we are making better products for our customers and collaborators, which helps them improve their business performance while making our planet better. We appreciate the continued support of our shareholders,” said John Melo, Amyris President & CEO.

In the private placement, the company issued unsecured promissory notes due on May 15, 2017 and warrants to purchase common stock. The number of shares subject to the warrants, which are exercisable for $0.01 per share, was based on warrant coverage of 20% of the principal amount of notes purchased by each investor. Details of the transaction and a description of the securities are included in a related Current Report on Form 8-K, which the company filed today with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in conjunction with this news release.

 Mitsui & Co. invest additional $CDN25m in BioAmber Sarnia.

By BioAmber

BioAmber Inc. (NYSE: BIOA), a leader in renewable materials, is pleased to announce that Mitsui & Co. Ltd., its partner in the Sarnia bio-based succinic acid plant, is investing an additional CDN$25 million in the joint venture for 10% of the equity, increasing its stake from 30% to 40%.  Mitsui will also play a stronger role in the commercialization of bio-succinic acid produced in Sarnia, providing dedicated resources alongside BioAmber's commercial team.  BioAmber will maintain a 60% controlling stake in the joint venture.

"Mitsui is continuously committed to renewable chemistry and through our increased equity stake we will be more actively involved in joint venture management and sales, leveraging our global sales platforms," said Hidebumi Kasuga, General Manager, Specialty Chemicals Division, Basic Chemicals Business Unit.  "We are very happy with Sarnia's fermentation and plant operations performance to date and the JV has received quality certifications from more than 90 customers. With this progress, I am confident that Sarnia's bio-succinic acid will be penetrating the global marketplace quickly."

"Mitsui's increased commitment to the Sarnia plant is a strong endorsement of its value and potential.  We have in Mitsui a financially robust, global partner that is motivated by Sarnia's progress and prospects," said Jean-Francois Huc, CEO of BioAmber.   "This investment strengthens Sarnia's balance sheet as we ramp up production and sales." 

 Investors meet pioneers of the bioeconomy.

An initiative in Germany in inviting high-potential start-ups from the field of bio-based materials, biotechnology and carbon capture & utilization (CCU) to introduce themselves to industry and investors at a Bio-based Start-up Day, taking place on 7 April 2016 at Cologne.

This event, of which Bio-Based World News is a partner will bring start-ups, investors and industry together by giving the floor to everyone and providing great networking opportunities. High-potential start-ups from the field of bio-based materials, biotechnology and carbon capture & utilization (CCU) are invited to introduce themselves to industry and investors. Start-ups will get insider information from high-level funding experts. Supporting partners of the conference are CLIB2021 and the IBB Netzwerk GmbH http://bio-based.eu/startup.

 The day will start with three presentations on the topics: “Building start-ups in the bio-based economy” and “Why invest in bio-based applications?” followed by the presentations of the start-ups. In special meeting sessions around the exhibition the participants will have the opportunity to meet the start-ups and investors in person. Investors will provide an insight into their incentives and experiences working with start-ups in the bio-based and biotech sector including the presentation of a success story. The day will end with a panel discussion and a coming together.

An initiative in Germany in inviting high-potential start-ups from the field of bio-based materials, biotechnology and carbon capture & utilization (CCU) to introduce themselves to industry and investors at a Bio-based Start-up Day, taking place on 7 April 2016 at Cologne.

This event, of which Bio-Based World News is a partner will bring start-ups, investors and industry together by giving the floor to everyone and providing great networking opportunities. High-potential start-ups from the field of bio-based materials, biotechnology and carbon capture & utilization (CCU) are invited to introduce themselves to industry and investors. Start-ups will get insider information from high-level funding experts. Supporting partners of the conference are CLIB2021 and the IBB Netzwerk GmbH http://bio-based.eu/startup.

The conference provides great networking opportunities all day long. Registered participants can reserve a free booth to present their products directly at the event.

This event is aimed primarily at:

  • Start-ups from the field of bio-based materials, biotechnology and carbon capture & utilization (CCU)
  • Financial service providers
  • Start-up consultants
  • Representatives of the industry

Partners of the event are the Federation of Reinforced Plastics (AVK), BCNP Consultants GmbH, Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), the Central Agricultural Raw Materials Marketing- and Energy-Network (C.A.R.M.E.N. e. V.), CLIB2021, Enterprise Europe Network, European Bioplastics e. V., Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe (FNR), IBB Netzwerk GmbH, 3N Centre of Experts Lower Saxony – Network for Renewable Resources e. V., kunststoffland NRW e. V., PolyComply Hoechst GmbH, RIN Stoffströme, Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB), Association of the German Wood-based Panel Industries (VHI e. V.) – more partners are welcome.

The following start-ups have already been chosen to introduce themselves at the Bio-based Start-up Day:

4GENE (DE) www.4gene.de: 4GENE develops and produces natural, biotechnologically engineered, activable flavour and fragrance precursors. Products are marketed as FLAVOR-ON-DEMAND to flavour and fragrance customers worldwide.

BIOTREM (PL) www.biotrem.pl/en: BIOTREM uses an organic by-product of milling (wheat husks) to produce tableware that is fully natural and fully compostable. The production process is very clean. Only husks, steam, pressure and heat are needed.

Electrochaea GmbH (DE) www.electrochaea.com: Electrochaea is developing a disruptive grid-scale energy storage technology. Our power-to-gas (P2G) process converts CO2 and low-cost or stranded electricity into pipeline-grade methane for direct injection into the existing natural gas grid.

GLYCONIC (DE) www.glyconic.com: GLYCONIC is a developer of glycosylated polyphenols. With its state-of-the-art technology GLYCONIC is the preferred partner in cosmetic, pharmaceutical and food industry when it comes to adapting the effectiveness, stability, solubility and bioavailability of polyphenol derivates.

Kiverdi, Inc. (US) www.kiverdi.com: Kiverdi makes high-value oils and chemicals for a variety of product applications such as detergents, biomaterials and fuel additives. Kiverdi’s chemicals are sustainably produced from waste carbon and decoupled from the price fluctuations, supply chain disruptions, and geopolitics associated with commodities.

Mycoplast S.n.c. (IT) www.mycoplast.com: MOGU is a start-up initiative created in January 2015 by Mycoplast, aiming to research, develop and commercialise a wide variety of bio-materials produced from mycelium and agro-industrial residues as substrates.

Nafigate Corporation, A.S. (CZ) www.nafigate.info/en: Hydal biotechnology – as the first technology in the world – utilizes 100% waste (used cooking oil) for the production of a bio-based polymer, polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA), on the industrial scale. First pilot line and plant is being built in Suzhou in China.

NordBioChem OÜ (EE) www.nordbiochem.eu: NordBioChem has developed a whole technological platform starting with the lactic acid fermentation technology suitable for large- scale production and has combined it with new solutions in catalytical mechanisms and chemical derivatisation technologies.

Skytree (NL) www.skytree.eu: Based on space technology, Skytree has developed a patented process which re-captures CO2 directly from the ambient air. This allows providing or subtracting carbon- neutral CO2 on-site, anytime, anywhere. This CO2 can in turn be used for such applications as growing plants, ventilation and water treatment.


Dipl.-Ing.  Florence Aeschelmann
Phone: +49 (0)2233-4814-48

We thank our partners and media partners. Special thanks to our supporting partners CLIB2021 and the IBB Netzwerk.

Novasep adds synthesis and kilo lab extensions to US facility.

By Novasep
Enhanced capabilities bring Novasep’s unique range of specialized drug development technologies within easier reach of North American customers
Novasep, a leading supplier of services and technologies for the life sciences industry, today announces it is building a new synthesis laboratory and a kilo lab for its US facility. This extension will allow Novasep to offer both chemistry and purification services. It will enable Novasep to produce the initial kilogram scale batches of synthetic molecules that are needed for biological testing and preclinical trials.
Novasep’s investment is a direct response to increasing demand from US customers for closer proximity to Novasep’s contract manufacturing services that accelerate early stage development and ease production scale-up. The new laboratory will start operations in May 2016.
“The new US laboratory greatly enhances Novasep’s global offering for CMO services,” said Andrew Brennan, general manager of Novasep’s US operations. “Our unique skills and expertise in highly specialized chemical and purification technologies rank us among the leaders in these fields. US drug developers will benefit from our extended services that specifically target their needs.”
The new laboratory will be located at Novasep’s facility in Boothwyn (PA), 20 minutes from Philadelphia airport. This team has provided Novasep purification development services to North American customers for more than 15 years; including screening and process development derived from Novasep’s proprietary preparative chromatography technology.
“This US undertaking is part of our ‘Back to Basics’ strategy we have been implementing for more than two years now,” added Thierry Van Nieuwenhove, president of the Synthesis BU. “Novasep is adapting its CMO services to the US market where flexibility and proximity to our customers are required.“
Novasep will equip the US facility with reactors up to 50L in size. The new laboratory will feature cryogenic capacities as well as standard chemistry. In terms of purification, it will provide North American customers with the complete portfolio of Novasep preparative chromatography processes, such as HPLC (Hipersep®), SFC (Supersep®) and state of the art evaporation. In addition, it will be equipped with all required analytical tools for PR&D (Process Research and Development), including process safety testing capabilities.
Novasep is a leading global CMO offering a full range of cGMP development and manufacturing capabilities in Europe. Last year, it made a significant €10M ($11M) investment in a fully integrated Antibody Drug Conjugate (ADC) facility at its Le Mans site in France, thereby expanding its bioconjugation services. The company continues to strengthen its proven track record in process development and technology transfer. All of Novasep’s commercial scale facilities have successfully passed FDA inspection in the last three years.

Muck Daddy™ Named Official Hand Cleaner of Pirelli World Challenge.

By Muck Daddy

Highly-Effective, Bio-Based Solvent Technology Makes Muck Daddy a Cleaning Leader

AUSTIN, Texas and EMERYVILLE, Calif., Jan. 25, 2016  WC Vision LLC, producers of the Pirelli World Challenge ("PWC") racing series, and Amyris, Inc. (Nasdaq:AMRS), the industrial bioscience company, today announced a new relationship whereby Amyris's high-performance cleaning brand, Muck Daddy™ has been named the official hand cleaner of the PWC racing series.

Muck Daddy, developed by Amyris's biochemists for more than decade, is a breakthrough line of high-performance cleaning products based on Amyris's proprietary Myralene™ 10 solvent, a revolutionary ingredient positioned to replace harsh petroleum- and limonene-based solvents. Muck Daddy's first release, the High Performance Hand Cleaner (available with and without pumice), is USDA Certified Biobased and formulated with industrial workers' needs and wellness in mind.

Muck Daddy's Scrubbing Wipes, another innovative product in the brand's line, can be used to clean oily, greasy dirt off hands as well as tools, parts and surfaces. Muck Daddy hand cleaners also contain Amryis's premium skincare ingredient, Neossance® squalane, to moisturize and improve the condition of hands.

In 2016, the Pirelli World Challenge enters its 27th year of competition following its most competitive racing season in 2015 with series Drivers' Champions representing six different manufacturers: Johnny O'Connell (Cadillac), Frankie Montecalvo (Mercedes-Benz), Colin Thompson (Porsche), Michael Cooper (Chevrolet), Corey Fergus (Porsche), Jason Wolfe (Kia) and Johan Schwartz (Chevrolet). Manufacturer titles went to Porsche (GT), Ford (GTS), Mazda (TC) and Honda (TCA).

"Bringing our Muck Daddy™ cleaning products to the Pirelli World Challenge is a perfect fit for our brand," said Jason Voogt, Vice President, Performance Materials, at Amyris. "Based on our new, highly-effective, bio-based solvent, Myralene™ 10, our products work under the most extreme conditions where speed and performance are critical in a top racing series such as the Pirelli World Challenge. The PWC racing teams can use our products without exposing themselves to other petroleum-based cleaning products that can stink, sting and tear up their hands. Muck Daddy™ is a perfect brand for the PWC racers."

"We are very excited to bring Amyris's high-performance cleaning brand, Muck Daddy™, to the Pirelli World Challenge in this new relationship," said Greg Gill, WC Vision President and CEO. "Muck Daddy™ is a leader in its category with its eco-friendly and effective cleaning performance. We believe Muck Daddy™ will be a tremendous asset to our participants as well as our fans. We look forward to a long relationship with Muck Daddy."

The 2016 Pirelli World Challenge season kicks off on March 3-6, 2016 at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Tex., with a sensational headliner weekend featuring all seven PWC classes in action as well as the six-hour SRO Blancpain Endurance GT feature.

Amyris Signs First Multi-Million-Dollar Biofene® Ingredient Supply Agreement for Global Nutraceuticals and Vitamins Market

By Amyris

Amyris, Inc. (Nasdaq:AMRS), the industrial bioscience company, today announced that it has signed its first Biofene® ingredient supply agreement for the global nutraceuticals and vitamins market. The agreement represents a multi-million-dollar arrangement with one of the world's leading nutraceuticals manufacturers. Initial volumes of farnesene were delivered to the customer in the fourth quarter for conversion to the final product.

This agreement and the related processing technology for the farnesene building block will enable a significant cost advantage for this key product used for daily nutritional benefit. This is a significant achievement consistent with Amyris's mission to help its customers do better while doing better for the planet. Demand for global nutritional products continues to grow at a much faster pace than GDP and supplying these products from sustainable sources at a lower cost than current sources is critical for the growing population of the world.

Amyris expects 2016 sales revenue under this agreement to exceed annual Amyris renewable fuel revenues to date and, should the companies execute a forward volume agreement for beyond 2016, Amyris believes revenue under this agreement could be approximately $20 million annually following successful commercialization. The agreement demonstrates the flexibility of farnesene, Amyris's second unique fermentation molecule, with more commercial uses expected from it in the future.

Due to the competitive nature of this market both parties have agreed to keep the targeted product and the customer's name confidential.

"We're very pleased with this agreement and with our ability to provide our partners with low cost, high-performance farnesene that can provide them with a competitive advantage while enabling them to grow sustainably," said John Melo, President & CEO of Amyris. "This agreement helps us continue our transition to a diversified portfolio of high performance, sustainable ingredients to some of the world's fastest-growing markets and away from direct exposure to fossil fuel prices."

New research explores high-value applications for rapeseed oil.

York, 3 December 2015. Led by Velcourt, a collaboration of researchers and plant breeders are working to establish the commercial feasibility of a new type of oilseed rape (OSR) that could provide a greener alternative to the mineral-based oils currently used industrially. 

It is estimated that 50% of all lubricants sold world-wide end up in the environment, with few alternatives currently available to the mineral-based products that can be harmful pollutants. If proven successful, this new type of OSR will not only provide a high-quality renewable alternative, but will also offer the advantage of having low toxicity and being biodegradable.

“The global lubricant market is worth $44Bn and is expected to keep growing”, says Keith Norman, Technical Director at Velcourt. “However, only 4.5% of the market is formed by bio-based products. The type of OSR we are investigating is hugely exciting not only because it is food grade and less harmful to the environment, but also because it is thermally-stable which has been a barrier to previous biolubricants”.

In the UK, OSR is the third-largest crop by area and is used as a break crop in wheat production. Sold both as a foodstuff and for biodiesel, growers are vulnerable to changes in EU policy, which could significantly affect the crop’s market value. This new OSR crop has the potential to protect growers from future market fluctuations by opening up a new multi-billion pound market for rapeseed oil as a biolubricant.

Funded by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK (102296), and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) (BB/M028534/1), the project will run until 2018 and test the commercialisation potential of the OSR type using the combined expertise of:

Together the project partners will address the principle barriers to the use of renewable oils in the mainstream lubricant markets – thermo-stability – and initiate connections between companies in new supply chains.

“This work has the potential to bring about a significant change in the lubricants market. We will be producing novel oils for industry evaluation and would urge any interested companies to get in touch to explore how they might be able to assess this new product for their applications,” explains Helen Shiels, Business Development Manager at the BDC.

BASF at Sustainable Brands '15 London


BASF, a Platinum Sponsor of Sustainable Brands, will be presenting the latest developments in its Sustainable Solution SteeringTM project at the Sustainable Brands London event in Windsor (Nov 16-18). BASF has systematically reviewed and evaluated the sustainability aspects of 60,000 product applications in the company’s portfolio. The analysis involved 2,000 experts, and resulted in more than a thousand specific action plans for improving the overall value-chain sustainability performance.

Each solution is assigned to one of four categories (Accelerator, Performer, Transitioner, Challenged) according to its contribution to sustainability. (www.basf.com/sustainable_solution_steering_e) In 2014, 23 percent of BASF’s global sales were generated by ‘Accelerators’ - innovative products and solutions that make a significant contribution to sustainability.

To meet customer needs even better in the future and to secure long-term business success, BASF has set itself the target to further increase this share of sustainable solutions to 28 percent by 2020. In his presentation on Nov 18, Dirk Voeste, BASF’s Vice President of Sustainability Strategy, will focus on how the evaluation results are influencing business strategy and how respective investments are being evaluated and justified.

Urban Space: BASF products are everywhere in your home. Where exactly and how these products contribute to sustainability, Sustainable Brands delegates will be able to discover at the “Urban Space” in the Activation Hub area.

About BASF: At BASF, we create chemistry – and have been doing so for 150 years. Our portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products and crop protection products to oil and gas. As the world’s leading chemical company, we combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. Through science and innovation, we enable our customers in nearly every industry to meet the current and future needs of society. Our products and solutions contribute to conserving resources, ensuring nutrition and improving quality of life. We have summed up this contribution in our corporate purpose: We create chemistry for a sustainable future. BASF had sales of over €74 billion in 2014 and around 113,000 employees as of the end of the year. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (AN). Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at www.basf.com.

IB2Market brings new biobased products to the market.

IB2Market, a public project funded by the European Union, brought a number of new-to-market and biobased molecules to the market. Several new types of bio-surfactants (more specifically Bolaform, Acidic and Lactonic Sophorolipids) and specialty carbohydrates like Sophorose and Human Milk Sugars (more specifically Fucosylated Oligosaccharides) are now commercially available. These molecules have new and interesting characteristics useful for applications in the field of pharma, functional & medical nutrition, cosmetics, nano-technology and many, many more. Innovative industrial biotechnology processes made it possible to produce these complex molecules starting from renewable resources using biological processes. Such processes are sustainable, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on fossil resources. 

Industrial Biotechnology has proven to be a powerful tool to ensure a sustainable future. It uses micro-organisms to produce complex molecules that can be used as such, or as building blocks for bio-chemicals, bio-detergents, bio-materials, etc. In some cases micro-organisms are even able to make complex molecules which cannot be produced at all by conventional chemical processes. Furthermore, Industrial Biotechnology uses renewable resources instead of fossil resources, creating a bio-economy with significantly reduced greenhouse gas emissions and low dependence on fossil resources. 

IB2Market, a project financed by the 7th Framework Program of the European Union, aims to bring industrial biotechnology from the research lab to the market and to solve the bottle-necks in industrialization and commercialization. The project covers process development, scale up, market exploration and the drafting of a valorization plan to support a successful market introduction. 

The first class of new molecules are biosurfactants such as ‘Bolaform Sophorolipids’ and Acidic and Lactonic Sophorolipids. In simple language they could be best described as types of bio-detergents. Although these new molecules have good performance for application in the ‘green detergent industry’ where wild type sophorolipids are already commercialized, these new types of sophorolipids also show very promising properties for future application in the fields of pharma, agro, food, cosmetics, nano-technology and many, many more. These new biosurfactants are 100% biodegradable and are 100% produced from renewable resources.

The second class of new molecules are specialty carbohydrates. Fucosylated oligosaccharides (e.g. Human Milk Oligosaccharides) are so called ‘rare’ sugars and are very difficult to synthesize via conventional routes (e.g. extraction, chemical synthesis, enzymatic synthesis). They play vital roles in animal and human health processes and are considered as an untapped source of innovation within the wellness, biomedical, pharmaceutical and cosmetics high-end areas. Due to the lack of their availability and efficient technology to produce them, these products are currently very expensive hampering the application development and access to market processes. Inbiose, a Ghent University spin-off company has solved this problem via a technology platform leading to a high production efficiency, which dramatically reduces their production costs and unlock key added-value market access. 

Also sophorose and L-fucose are now available. Both are specialty carbohydrates for which currently no easy production route exists. L-fucose is a specialty carbohydrate with numerous applications, mainly in health care. Sophorose has applications in the cosmetics, foods and biofuels industry. The availability of sophorose and L-fucose at low prices will stimulate application development for these specialty carbohydrates. 

These products are available for testing as of today. The project partners look forward to cooperate with potential customers to bring production and application of the new products in line with the customer’s needs, to adapt product formulation to application needs or to cooperate on possible new applications.

More: http://www.ib2market.eu

First study on economic impact of bio-plastics industry to the UK presented by the BBIA at the House of Lords

London, Wednesday 21 October 2015 – According to a study carried out by CEBR on behalf of the BBIA, presented today at the House of Lords, the UK has the opportunity to develop a domestic bio-plastics industry able to support 35,000 jobs, produce £1 billion in gross employment compensation and generate £2 billion of gross value added to the economy, with a local production of 120,000 tonnes considering just relevant flexible and food-service packaging.

CEBR’S analysis, the first of its kind in the country, shows that for the UK to fully capitalise on the industry’s potential, a supportive technological, legislative and commercial environment should be in place. To achieve this, the UK can learn from the examples set by Europe, the USA and Asia.

The EU’s “Europe 2020” is an example of how support for the bio-plastics industry can be integrated into the continent’s strategy for achieving sustainable economic growth.

Political support is crucial. The UK government can do more to incorporate the economic potential of the bio-plastics sector into the country’s wider growth strategy as illustrated in the points below.

Legislative support can drive growth. Bans on plastic carrier bags have been introduced in Italy, France, California and Hawaii – and have demonstrated that simple single policy objectives such as reducing littering can cascade into other wide-reaching policy benefits such as food waste collection and organic recycling.                                                                                  

Unambiguous standards and labelling. The full potential of a bio-plastics industry in the UK will only be released if consumers can recognise the sustainability benefits of these products via compliance with UK approved existing standards e.g. “BS EN 13432” and distinguish these from products falsely claiming biodegradability

A public procurement approach is needed. As the US has shown, public sector support can help drive significant private sector investment.

“CEBR’s analysis, although limited to packaging, clearly shows the significant potential of a UK based bio-plastics industry” stated BBIA’s Chairman, Andy Sweetman. “The 5p bag charge, with a well-designed exemption for compostable carriers, represents an unmissable opportunity to develop a sector that can offer not just a wide range of benefits within the UK’s bioeconomy but also the ability to improve the country’s resource efficiency and sustainability.”

The meeting was hosted by Lord Jamie Lindsay to introduce the BBIA to industry leaders, government officials and policy makers. The analysis is the first economic impact assessment of the bio-plastics sector to the UK and is meant to be further expanded to take into account other areas of application. The full report will shortly be available through the BBIA website.

America’s Renewable Future and DuPont Release New Poll Showing Republicans and Democrats United in Support of Renewable Fuel

DES MOINES, Oct. 21, 2015 – Today America’s Renewable Future (ARF) and DuPont (NYSE: DD) jointly released new poll findings showing that, once informed about the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and biofuels, a solid majority of caucus-goers from both political parties would be more likely to vote for a presidential candidate who supports them. Poll results indicated that 61 percent of Republicans and 76 percent of Democrats would be more likely to support a candidate who supports progress in these areas.

In fact, Iowa caucus-goers of both parties respond positively to a number of reasons to continue the RFS:

  • 75 percent of Republicans and 87 percent of Democrats surveyed endorsed lower greenhouse gas emissions compared to gasoline as a good reason to continue the RFS;
  • 88 percent of Republicans and 93 percent of Democrats react favorably to the strong job and wage benefits the RFS ensures for Iowa;
  • and 86 percent of Republicans and 92 percent of Democrats say the hundreds of thousands of American jobs the RFS ensures across the country are a good reason to continue the program.

Seventy-one percent of both Republicans and Democrats have positive associations with ethanol and a nearly identical percentage of both Republicans and Democrats – 84 and 88 percent respectively – say the RFS is good for Iowa.  And, once informed about the RFS and cellulosic ethanol, 79 percent of Republican and 90 percent of Democratic likely caucus-goers say the RFS is good for the nation.

The survey was conducted jointly with DuPont, which is opening a 30-million-gallon cellulosic ethanol biorefinery in Nevada, Iowa, Oct. 30.

Cellulosic ethanol – renewable fuel made from crop residues rather than grain – is relatively new to market and to Iowans. However, once informed about it, strong majorities of both Republicans and Democrats support the product for offering lower prices at the pump (68 percent of Republicans and 77 percent of Democrats) and providing economic opportunity through job creation and establishing an entirely new revenue stream for local farmers (80 percent of Republicans and 83 percent of Democrats).

Methodology: In late September 2015, Selzer & Company conducted a survey of 400 Iowa voters likely to attend the Republican presidential caucus in February 2016 and 405 Iowa voters likely to attend the Democratic caucus. Interviewers contacted active voters from the Iowa voter registration list by telephone and screened for likelihood to attend one of the presidential caucuses to be held in February. After some initial general questions about energy and renewable fuels, the RFS was described with the sentence, “The Renewable Fuel Standard requires that a certain percentage of renewable fuels like ethanol be blended into the gasoline supply.” The margin of error for each group of likely caucus-goers is plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.

Discovery about protein structure opens window on basic life process.

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Biochemists at Oregon State University have made a fundamental discovery about protein structure that sheds new light on how proteins fold, which is one of the most basic processes of life.

The findings, announced today in Science Advances, will help scientists better understand some important changes that proteins undergo. It had previously been thought to be impossible to characterize these changes, in part because the transitions are so incredibly small and fleeting.

The changes relate to how proteins convert from one observable shape to another – and they happen in less than one trillionth of a second, in molecules that are less than one millionth of an inch in size. It had been known that these changes must happen and they have been simulated by computers, but prior to this no one had ever observed how they happen.

Now they have, in part by recognizing the value of certain data collected by many researchers over the last two decades.

“Actual evidence of these transitions was hiding in plain sight all this time,” said Andrew Brereton, a doctoral student in the OSU College of Science and lead author on this study. “We just didn’t know what to look for, and didn’t understand how significant it was.”

All proteins start as linear chains of building blocks and then quickly fold to their proper shape, going through many high-energy transitions along the way. Proper folding is essential to the biological function of proteins, and when it doesn’t happen correctly, protein folding diseases can be one result – such as Alzheimer’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, amyloidosis and others.

Proteins themselves are a critical component of life, the workhorses of biology. They are comparatively large, specialty molecules that can do everything from perceiving light to changing shape and making muscles function. Even the process of thinking involves proteins at the end of one neuron passing a message to different proteins on the next neuron.

A powerful tool called X-ray crystallography has been able to capture images of proteins in their more stable shapes, but what was unknown is exactly how they got from one stable form to another. The changes in shape that are needed for those transitions are fleeting and involve distortions in the molecules that are extreme and difficult to predict.

What the OSU researchers discovered, however, is that the stable shapes adopted by a few proteins actually contained some parts that were trapped in the act of changing shape, conceptually similar to finding mosquitos trapped in amber.

“We discovered that some proteins were holding single building blocks in shapes that were supposed to be impossible to find in a stable form,” said Andrew Karplus, the corresponding author on the study and a distinguished professor of biochemistry and biophysics in the OSU College of Science.

“Apparently about one building block out of every 6,000 gets trapped in a highly unlikely shape that is like a single frame in a movie,” Karplus said. “The set of these trapped residues taken together have basically allowed us to make a movie that shows how these special protein shape changes occur. And what this movie shows has real differences from what the computer simulations had predicted.”

As with most fundamental discoveries, the researchers said, the full value of the findings may take years or decades to play out.

What is clear is that proteins are key to some of the most fundamental processes of life, and this new information has revealed the first direct views of specific details of one aspect of protein folding in a way that had not been considered possible.

“In the 1870s an English photographer named Eadweard Muybridge made some famous photographs that settled a debate which had been going on for decades, about whether horses as they run actually lift all four feet off the ground at the same time,” Karplus said.

“His novel series of stop-action photos proved that they did, and opened up a whole new understanding of animal locomotion,” he said. “In a similar way, our results change the way researchers can now look at one of the ways proteins change shape, and that’s a pretty fundamental part of life.”