Conference Notes EU Events

Bio-Based Building Blocks

Presentations given during the International Conference on Bio-Based Materials May 2018 - Live Coverage Tomorrow

Chairman: Dr. Wolfgang Baltus, PRECISE Corporation (TH)

Doris de Guzman, Tecnon OrbiChem (UK) Update on Bio-Based Building Blocks


Marcel Lubben, Reverdia (NL) Driving the Development of the Bioeconomy

The presentation will review the first decade of bio-based chemicals and how to get ready for the next one. Commercializing bio-based chemicals has proven to be a significant challenge so far. Initial expectations of 10 years ago needed to be adapted. Still, it is an attractive area for business growth and it will fundamentally change the chemical industry as we know it. What can be learned from the Reverdia story? What is the best go-to-market strategy? What works? What mistakes to avoid? Is “green” really a proposition? How should bio-based and circular go hand in hand? What does it take to move successfully into the next decade?

Christian Lenges, DuPont Industrial BioSciences (US) Enzymatic Polymerization: NuvolveTM Engineered Polysaccharides & Progress in Application Development

Polysaccharides are important biopolymers with a wide range of industrial and consumer product applications. Historically, structural polysaccharides such as cellulose have been the backbone of early material science for applications in fibers & nonwovens, films and early thermoplastics. Dr. Okko Ringena, UPM Biochemicals (FI/DE) Evolution of Wood Utilization: Bio-MEG and Beyond

Dr. Okko Ringena, UPM Biochemicals (FI/DE) Evolution of Wood Utilization: Bio-MEG and Beyond

Wood as carbon neutral feedstock offers multiple possibilities of future value creation other than established businesses like pulp, paper or construction. UPM has launched a series of innovative projects to develop and implement processes aiming to capture the value of products on a molecular level like biofuels and biochemicals. Focus of the presentation will be the introduction of the biochemicals initiative targeting to produce wood-based bio-monoethylene glycol in a first-of-its-kind facility.

Jonas Hartman, VTT (FI) Muconic Acid as a Versatile Bio-Based Monomer for Plastics

Plastics have revolutionized our lives in every aspect, yet only 2 % of the yearly production of 300 Megatons are renewable. Bio-based plastics have gone from a novelty to a serious player in the chemical industry, spanning from new materials such as furandicarboxylic acid to drop-in replacements. Muconic acid is a highly versatile platform chemical that can be used to make many plastic monomers, from adipic acid through to caprolactam and hexamethylenediamine for use in nylon materials. Our research has looked into the synthesis of muconic acid from sugar acids, particularly from pectin derived from citrus peels. The bio-technically prepared mucic acid is converted using rhenium-based catalysts to muconic acid in high yield. Subsequent purification gives a monomer that can be further exploited, or used as a unique bio-based monomer itself. VTT’s patented routes allow for a significant gain in the advancement of bio-based plastics.

Tore Sylvester Jeppesen, Haldor Topsoe A/S (DK) Demonstrating and Commercializing Bio-Based Chemicals via Catalysis

In order to make renewable chemicals a wide-spread success, focus should be on how to create value chains supporting the commercialization rather than on how to compete with established value chains. Often it will be necessary to deconstruct existing value chains and construct new value chains in order to succeed. Furthermore, the obstacles faced in this process will be discussed. Typically, these have root in industry traditions and in accepting an increased or decreased role of the value chain actors. In particular, Haldor Topsoe will share considerations made for the demonstration and commercialization of the MOSAIK™ technology. The MOSAIK™ technology utilizes heterogeneous catalysis to convert sugars into oxygen containing chemicals. The prime example being MEG where Braskem and Haldor Topsoe have entered into a strategic partnership.

Eelco Blum, Avantium (NL) Introducing Project Mekong: Making a Greener PET an Economic Reality