Biobased chemical building blocks go through a difficult phase: with falling crude oil prices over the past years, these chemicals had a hard time to remain competitive to fossil-based chemicals. Nevertheless, a nova Institute report predicted an 8% p.a. growth across the board for them in the five years to come. Last month, nova Institute
Cyrene is a biobased solvent intended to substitute toxic solvents in fine chemistry and pharmaceutical industries. It is produced by Circa, an Australian company that has partnered with the Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence (GCCE) at the University of York, UK, and with pulp and paper company Norske Skog to start industrial production in Europe.
Separation and purification are essential processes in the production of bio-based chemicals. This is challenging because bio-based compounds can only be manipulated under mild conditions. Scientists and engineers are trying to overcome these challenges and at the EFIB-event in Glasgow, last October, various innovative separation techniques were presented. Using laboratory techniques on an industrial scale
Synthetic Biology (SynBio) includes a large field of applications. Within this area biochemists combine engineering concepts and techniques with biology to design new genes that produce a specific protein. When this protein is an enzyme, bacteria and yeast in which such a gene is implanted can produce specific chemicals through a fermentation process. A large
The European biobased economy strategy should not lead through drop-in chemicals. The key is in Smart, Small and Clever. This is the second of two columns on the European biobased economy strategy, published on 23 October and 27 October 2016. New value chains The present European biobased economy strategy, that heavily depends on biofuels, has
Earlier this year, German nova-Institute published another thoughtful document on the biobased economy. It starts out from the observation that ten years of European policy making have not been very successful. The amount of biomass used in the European chemical and plastics industry has stagnated. The only sectors showing growth are the bioenergy and biofuel
In the past, biobased materials and chemicals earned scepticism. But the next generation offers high value in specialty chemicals, biopolymers and advanced materials. A clear value proposition when compared with their petro-based counterparts, says Lux Research; but smart business execution is critical to eventual success. Last week, Lux Research, a Boston-based technology consultancy firm, published
At first there was just LanzaTech, about which we wrote four years ago. Now there are many others: Newlight Technologies, INEOS Bio, Mango Materials. Companies that develop gas fermentation, using gases like methane or syngas and processing them with microorganisms. Others have tried and failed, in particular those that concentrated on fuels, rather than on