Conference Notes Events

Societal ROI of Bio-Based Chemicals and Materials by Dr Willem Sederel

The study is the result of a joint effort by Deloitte, Nova Institute and Delta

10th International Conference on Bio-bases Marerials – Köln, Germany- May 10-11, 2017

Presentation by Willem Sederel

People, Planet, Profit make the three legs of the triangle, with profit margin, jobs and CO2 emission savings as key indicators of the societal and corporate returns.

Main conclusions from the study: sugar beet in NW-EU is competitive with sugar cane and tapioca (ref: study by Deloitte, Nova Institute and Biorenewables Business Platform dated back 2014). Lifting production and import quotas will increase volume, will get the price of beet sugar back down from its 2016 peak and will allow to regain some of the fermentation industry that left the EU 10-20 years ago.

The study starts from sugar (not from the crops) and uses largely available data for organic acids, on one side, and alcohols and ketones on the other side. Only a few plant models have yields and ROI that allow them to finance their deployment through duplication. Model C with a capacity of 100kT and a yield of 94% is actually the most promising in the high carbon efficiency category. Typical model down the road is defined as having a yield > 90% and a capacity of 200kT to be economically viable. Nothing really new here…I would say

Citric acids (Jungzbunwlauer, BBCA), lactic and succinic acids (Corbion, Reverdia, Succinity, Galactic, etc …) are the more promising organic acids as building blocks for the EU. Down the chain, bioplastics can be produced with these building blocks. ROI on investment at this level of the value chain has still to be studied along the three legs of the triangle. PLA is the only bioplastics that is reportedly competitive with fossil based PS. And PLA was launched in commercial quantities back in 2005!


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