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viernes, 31 de marzo de 2017

API and GFBiochemicals plan to build a high-integrated lignocellulosic biorefinery

NOTE: The press release about the news collected in this post was issued on 24 March, however the link has been removed from the web page of GFBiochemicals. At this point, the information has not been denied officially so I will summarize the main available data down below and I will update the status of these news in the future.

American Process Inc. (API) and GFBiochemicals have entered into a joint development agreement to create world-class integrated biorefinery. It is one of the more exciting announcements in the biorefining sector so far this year, not only because it is an alliance between two important players in the bioproduct industry but because their complementary competencies can result in a high-integrated process. They will be cornerstone members of a consortium to develop the plant by repurposing an old industrial site that has an existing biomass supply chain. The proposed biorefinery will have the advantages of large scale, good logistics and the use of patented, proven technologies.

Lignocellulosic biorefinery
USA (the specific site has not been unveiled)
Production capacity
50,000-200,000 tons per years of biobased products
Products manufactured by GFBiochemicals
Biopolyols, bioplasticisers, bioesters and biosolvents
Products manufactured by API
Bioethanol, nanocellulosic products and sugars from wood

Figure 1. Synergies between API and GFBiochemicals (extracted from the press release)

The companies

API’s existing biorefinery in Georgia can process non-food based biomass to produce clean, low-cost, cellulosic sugars. Those sugars have already been converted to chemicals by many companies and their performance equals that of dextrose. API has also developed Bioplus®, a technology to produce nanocellulose with high functionality (see post about nanocellulose biorefineries including API facility).

GFBiochemicals has scaled up its own technology to produce levulinic acid and its derivations at commercial scale directly from biomass (see post about Caserta Levunic Acid Plant). Moreover, it can produce levulinic acid from sugars deriving from wood. The acid can act as a building block molecule for various industrial applications.


Dr. Theodora Retsina, founder and CEO of API, said:
“This agreement will be instrumental in delivering the new biorefinery and introducing high quality biobased products to the market at commercial scale. It will exploit synergies between our two companies and bring other parties to the consortium to create a world-class integrated biorefinery. This will be a structured process, powered by both the learning from our own success and failures and those of others in this space. We are pleased to join forces with GFBiochemicals in our shared vision to develop a viable bioeconomy.”

Pasquale Granata, Co-Founder of GFBiochemicals, said:
“We are proud to be working with American Process as we move to the next phase in our strategy. Over the past few years we have de-risked our patented technology and have proven that it can produce levulinic acid at a competitive cost to the oil-based equivalents. Together with American Process we will be able to scale up our production of levulinic acid as well as offering a larger variety of biobased products to the market.”

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