1st PHA platform World Congress

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  • 100% bio-based plastic bottle closer to reality


    Breakthroughs at Anellotech’s TCat-8 pilot plant advance work on 100% bio-based plastic bottle prototypes, affirming the company’s commitment to innovative production of cost-competitive renewable chemicals.

    Sustainable technology company Anellotech recently achieved new milestones at its TCat-8 pilot plant in Texas, thereby progressing its 100% bio-based bottle collaboration with global consumer beverage company Suntory.

    Anellotech’s TCat-8 pilot plant is using Bio-TCat technology, an efficient thermal catalytic process which converts non-food biomass feedstock material into BTX aromatics, a group of renewable chemicals identical to their petro-based counterparts. The first shipment of BTX has now been sent to joint development partners IFPEN and Axens for purification studies to make bio-paraxylene – the key aromatic chemical needed to make 100% renewable beverage bottles a reality. Bio-paraxylene from TCat-8 will be used to make renewable PET resin for prototype bottle manufacture and product testing.

    Since the announcement of a successful two-week continuous pilot plant trial in March 2018, over 1,200 hours of cumulative on-stream time have been achieved at TCat-8, while BTX has been generated for product testing and evaluation and process development data collected for future commercial plant design. Anellotech also continues to produce other aromatic products through its Bio-TCat process, including benzene and toluene. These can be used to make a range of bio-based polymers such as nylon, polycarbonates, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and industrial chemicals such as LAB (linear alkyl benzene), which is used in laundry detergents.

    David Sudolsky, President & CEO of Anellotech, said “Following our announcements earlier this year on process development and continuous operation, we are glad that significant progress continues at our TCat-8 pilot plant. We continue to move the technology towards commercialization, and shipping the pilot plant’s product for downstream evaluation is another major milestone. Having collaborated with Suntory since 2012 to advance development of cost-competitive bio-aromatics, we hope bio-based plastics made from our Bio-TCat process and a 100% bio-based bottle soon become a reality.”

    Anellotech CEO David Sudolsky will be talking more about these developments and Anellotech’s work in a 10.15am breakout session at the BIO World Congress tomorrow, Tuesday 17 July entitled ‘Renewable Chemicals Making Headway into New Materials and Consumer Biobased Products’.

  • Under development: Lignin-based aerogels with excellent insulating properties


    A consortium of researchers from, among others, the Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg (TU HH) has successfully produced lignin-based aerogels that were subsequently processed into highly porous insulation panels with excellent insulating properties.

    cAerogels are solid, highly porous materials with a low density and low thermal conductivity.
    A team led by the Professor Irina Smirnova at the TU HH has now developed an aerogel that is largely lignin based – pure lignin based panels are not feasible -, using lignin derived from residual wood and wheat straw.
    The lignin was extracted using two environmentally friendly treatment methods, based on Organosolv-and Aquasolv protocols.
    Using five different gelling strategies, the lignin was then coverted into aerogels. One of the most successful approaches led to the development of hybrid lignin polyurethane aerogels with tunable densities of between 50 and 250 kg / m3. The mass-related content of lignin is 78 percent; insulation boards made from this type of Aerogel reach a thermal conductivity of 24 mW / m K ;which significantly exceeds the insulating properties of polystyrene or Rockwool. Lignin-based resorcinol formaldehyde aerogels with a surface area of 500 m2/ g, and a wide range of adjustable properties look promising. The procedure has been scaled up in the pilot.

    At the end of the project, two spin-off companies from the TU HH will promote the market introduction of the material after the end of the project, manufacturing lignin and aerogels on a pilot scale for interested companies.
    The first is BioMP (, a company with expertise in the field of hot water hydrolysis and production of lignin; the second, Aerogelex ( manufactures various types of organic aerogels and offers lignin PU Aero gel plates for industrial testing.

    The project "material use of lignin: Nanoporous materials" was promoted by the Federal Ministry of food and Agriculture (BMEL) as the project carrier for specialist agency renewable raw materials e. V. (FNR). The final report is available on 22018312 available at the grant number. On the project were in addition to the HH TU the Fraunhofer-Institute for chemical biotechnological processes (CBP), University of Vienna, the Bavarian Center for applied energy research and the company Dräger safety and Loick organic value substances involved.

  • Biocomposite demand driven by global construction boom, says new report


    The vendor landscape for the global market for biocomposites has seen a significant rise in the number of manufacturers, leading to intense competition, writes Transparency Market Research in a recent report.

    As the market witnesses the entry of numerous well-established manufacturers of popular composites such as glass fiber and cotton fiber, the market is expected to become more competitive in the near future. Despite this, the market features a vast set of untapped growth opportunities in new applications across industries such as construction and automotive.

    Tapping these growth opportunities may require strategic collaborations with companies in emerging economies and expansion of manufacturing capabilities to effectively serve the rising demand. Some of the leading companies operating in the global biocomposites market are Tecnaro GmbH, UPM, FlexForm Technologies, Green Bay Decking LLC, Universal Forest Products, Inc., and JELU-WERK J. Ehrler GmbH & Co. KG.

    According to the report, the global biocomposites market will exhibit an impressive 9.46% CAGR over the period between 2017 and 2025, rising from a valuation of US$4,730.4 mn in 2016 to US$10,549.4 mn by 2025.

    Of the key materials used to manufacture biocomposites, wood presently accounts for a dominant share in the overall market, thanks to its excellent binding properties and easy availability. The segment of flax is expected to expand at the fastest pace over the forecast period, accounting for a notable share in the overall market by the end of the report’s forecast.

    From the geographical standpoint, the market in Asia Pacific is presently the leading contributor of revenue to the global biocomposites market, thanks to the rapid pace of industrialization in emerging economies. The region is also a key market for biocomposites owing to the massive demand across industries such as consumer goods, construction, and automotive.

    The key factors working in favor of the global biocomposites market include stringent government regulations advocating the increased use of environment-friendly products with the view of reducing the negative impacts of rising pollution on the health of environment and global warming. The recyclable nature of biocomposites, coupled with their much higher safety quotient as compared to materials such as glass fibers and carbon fiber when it comes to a number of applications, could also spell growth for the market.

    The easy availability of most raw materials required for the production of a variety of biocomposites across the globe is also a key factors expected to work well for the expansion of the global biocomposites market over the next few years. However, certain limitations concerning pure biocomposites in aspects such as mechanical strength, coupled with their unstable costs and fluctuating availability of raw materials could cost the market negatively to a certain degree over the forecast period.

    The report is titled “Biocomposites Market (Material Type - Wood, Flax, hemp, Coir, Kenaf, Polyethylene, Polyvinyl Chloride, and Polypropylene; Product Type - Wood Plastic Composites (WPC) and Natural Fiber Composites (NFC); Application - Automotive, Construction, Electronics & Electricals, Furniture, and Consumer goods) - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast 2017–2025.”

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