Natural Plastics

News about the bioplastics industry

Edeniq and Global Bio - chem to Develop and Commercialize Corn Stover to Industrial Sugars Conversion Technology

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image Edeniq, Inc.(“Edeniq”), a cellulosic sugar producer, announced it has signed a letter of intent with Global Bio-chem Technology Group Company Limited (“Global Bio-chem,” HKG:0809) to develop and commercialize processes to convert corn stover to industrial sugars for use in the production of chemicals, fuels, and other bio-based products.

Pursuant to the letter of intent, Edeniq and Global Bio-chem intend to integrate their technologies in a commercial demonstration plant to produce 50,000 metric tons per year of industrial sugars from corn stover, and subsequently to form a joint venture to further develop and commercialize their technology platform.

Global Bio-chem is currently working on modification of corn stover, consisting of leaves, stalks and cobs of corn at its facility in the Jilin Province of China.“This relationship with Global Bio-chem will accelerate the scale-up and commercialization of  our continuous sugars process and build upon years of technology development at our pilot facilities in California,” said Mr.Brian Thome, President and CEO of Edeniq. “We believe our joint venture will offer an industry-leading, low-cost technology platform to biochemical and biofuel producers in China, the United States, and elsewhere, enabling significant market growth for bio-based products.”

Ms. Xu Ziyi, Executive Director of Global Bio-chem, said: “The Group is a pioneer in using corn stalk as raw material for further downstream processing, and has been working on fully utilizing other corn residues as well.

Our collaboration with Edeniq is to focus on enhancing our technology to significantly reduce the production costs of corn stover-based sugar,and to enable us to expand into a variety of bio-based products with such biomass as raw material.”

The collaboration between Global Bio-chem and Edeniq has gained government support. “The Jilin provincial government is pleased to support Global Bio-chem-Edeniq partnership in its goal to develop processes to utilize the millions of metric tons per year of corn stover available in our province,” said Mr. Dawei Liu, Deputy Commissioner of Industry Department, Jilin Province Development and Reform Committe

Source: Edeniq | Low-Cost Cellulosic Sugars for Ethanol, Advanced Biofuels, and Biochemicals

Development of biodegradable containers for fruit export

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Some of the fruits that Chile exports such as berries and blueberries are sent to different markets in clamshell containers, which are commonly made ​​of a traditional clear plastic.

However, due to the strong tendency in the world to develop environmentally friendly products and the applicability of new environmental regulations regarding the handling of polluting waste of production processes, the industry is looking for alternative containers that are friendlier to the environment.

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In this context, Conicyt approved the project to produce biodegradable containers for export fruit packaging and transportation, which are executed by the Technological Development Unit (UDT) of the University of Concepción.

The idea of this initiative is to seek alternatives to produce biodegradable containers for fruit export in partnership with various companies in the field.

Johana Castaño, project manager and investigator of the Biomaterials Department at UDT, explained that the idea is to scale the production of biodegradable containers developed for the domestic fruit industry, considering in turn, the most convenient economic and market alternatives for their industrial application”.

In addition, the investigator said that the development of this type of containers can position Chile as an international benchmark, which would also allow fruit sector companies and container suppliers to be much more competitive internationally.

Production

“Scientific and technological studies such as the optimization of processing at the pilot and industrial level, container design, thermo-mechanical characterization and their evaluation in simulated conditions of use will be required to achieve the development of biodegradable plastic containers”, suggests Castaño.

Companies linked to this initiative, which have a budget of 120 million pesos, are Petroquim, Ultrapac Sudamérica y Agrícola and Ganadera Rio Cato.

Source: UDT Unidad de Desarrollo Tecnológico UdeC

Calysta Demonstrates Lab-Scale Production of Lactic Acid From Methane

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image Calysta, Inc. (www.calysta.com)  has successfully fermented methane into lactic acid, under a research collaboration with NatureWorks. Lactic acid is the building block for NatureWorks Ingeo™ lactide intermediates and polymers used in consumer and industrial products worldwide.

The joint development program, started in June 2013 between Calysta and NatureWorks, is focused on creation of a commercially viable methane-to-lactic-acid process. The key aims are providing a structurally simplified, lower cost Ingeo production platform and diversifying NatureWorks’ feedstock portfolio.

“This important milestone was achieved ahead of schedule, and demonstrates the capability of Calysta’s proprietary Biological Gas-to-Chemicals® synthetic biology platform to create new manufacturing pathways using methane as an advantaged and sustainable feedstock,” said Alan Shaw, Ph.D., Calysta President and CEO. “Calysta offers NatureWorks innovative biological tools to activate a broader array of greenhouse gas feedstocks supporting NatureWorks’ commitment to feedstock diversification.”

A greenhouse gas ~20 times more harmful than carbon dioxide, methane is generated by the natural decomposition of plant materials and is a component of natural gas. Methane is also generated from society’s organic wastes and is produced from such activities as waste-water treatment, decomposition within landfills and anaerobic digestion. If successful, the technology could directly access carbon from any of these sources.

While the critical lab scale first stage of the project has confirmed methane conversion to lactic acid, much additional development work remains. A full demonstration of commercial feasibility may require up to five years of development effort. The companies will share commercialization rights for select products developed under the agreement.

About Calysta, Inc. (www.calysta.com):

Calysta Inc is an innovator in industrial products from sustainable sources. Calysta Energy is developing new Biological Gas-to-Liquids® and Biological Gas-to-Chemicals® technologies using methane, the primary component of natural gas. The technology allows conversion of a plentiful energy resource into high value chemicals and transportation fuels with cost and performance advantages over current processes. Calysta Nutrition develops and commercializes fish and livestock nutritional products based on gas fermentation of methane. Calysta Nutrition has operations in Stavanger, Norway.