Global chemical company BASF and Renmatix Inc. will jointly scale up the Renmatix Plantrose process for the production of industrial sugars based on lignocellulosic biomass. The two companies signed a non-exclusive joint development agreement. The collaboration follows BASF’s $30 million investment in Renmatix in January 2012.
The Plantrose technology developed by Renmatix enables industrial sugar to be produced, at competitive costs, from a variety of non-edible biomass (lignocellulose) sources. The proprietary process breaks down lignocellulosic sources such wood, agricultural-residues or straw. into industrial sugars using supercritical water (water at high temperature and pressure).
Industrial sugars are important building blocks for various basic chemicals and intermediates. The availability of these industrial sugars in sufficient quantities and at competitive cost is important to enable both environmentally-friendly and cost-competitive bio-based products, say BASF and Renmatix.
“Raw material change will only be possible via process innovations that allow the utilization of alternative sources of raw materials,” said Dr. Peter Schuhmacher, president of BASF’s competence center Process Research and Chemical Engineering. “It requires processes like Plantrose, which will be further developed in a joint effort, that enable the use of non-edible biomass as a chemical feedstock and which do not compete with food or feed production. It will help us to support our customers in developing solutions that contribute to sustainable development.”
Mike Hamilton, CEO of Renmatix, adds: “At Renmatix we are focused on supporting the emerging biochemical market by enabling progressive leaders to scale up Plantrose capacity to increase the global chemical industry’s access to cost-effective industrial sugars.”
Renmatix is a technology licensor for the conversion of biomass into cellulosic sugar, an enabling feedstock for petroleum alternatives used in the global biochemical and biofuels markets.