Reverdia to contribute to biopackaging; GF starts up levulinic acid plant

Reverdia has joined the consortium ADMIT BioSuccInnovate, a Climate-KIC initiative funded by the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT), along with the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) at Aberystwyth University and other European partners.

The consortium will explore with CIMV, a biorefining company, the use of locally-available lignocellulosic feedstock, such as wheat straw or miscanthus to produce biobased, biodegradable plastic packaging for consumer markets in association with UK retailer Waitrose and food tray producer Sharpak. The latter produces thermoformed rigid packaging. As part of Groupe Guillin, Sharpak has access to a product portfolio of over 10,000 tray types and technologies spread across 18 European markets.

The project is in line with Waitrose’s sustainable packaging strategy. Reverdia, which is a joint venture between Dutch company DSM and Roquette Frères, the global starch and starch-derivatives company, contributes its Biosuccinium sustainable bio-succinic acid technology.

Jo Kockelkoren, Reverdia’s Global Commercial Director said, “This venture builds on our market development work and partnership model that spans the entire value chain, from biomass to consumer applications.”

In other news, biobased chemical company GFBiochemicals has started commercial production at its 10,000-tonne capacity levulinic acid plant in Caserta, Italy. The announcement was made at the BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology, Montreal. GFBiochemicals is the first company to produce levulinic acid at commercial scale directly from biomass.

“Caserta is now the world's largest operational production plant for levulinic acid,” said Chief Commercial Officer Marcel van Berkel. “A fundamentally lower price range is now possible using our unique technology. This will give access to previously undiscovered market segments.”

Founded in 2008, GFBiochemicals uses breakthrough technology to commercialise levulinic acid – a valuable biobased building block for speciality chemicals and materials. With offices in Milan, Italy and Geleen, the Netherlands, its commercial-scale production plant is based in Caserta, Italy.


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