Provider of sugars for biofuels Renmatix teams up with European pulp and paper giant UPM in an agreement to develop biochemicals. This Renmatix news release says the companies will use Renmatix’s water-based Plantrose™ process to convert woody biomass into low-cost sugar intermediates for subsequent downstream processing into biochemicals.
“We are very excited about this truly collaborative endeavor. It combines UPM’s core competencies in sustainable sourcing and efficient industrial processing of wood, with Renmatix’s unique conversion technology,” noted Michael Duetsch, Director of Biochemicals, at UPM. “Access to second generation, lignocellulosic, sugars through a process that uses almost no consumables is a crucial factor in Plantrose technology’s attractiveness.”
The Plantrose process employs water at very high temperatures and pressures to breakdown biomass through supercritical hydrolysis. Under such conditions water can act as both a powerful solvent and catalyst, creating rapid reactions.
“We believe this pioneering approach leads to real cost advantages over conventional methods. Our growing relationship with UPM gives Renmatix an opportunity to support them expanding the Biofore story,” commented Mike Hamilton, CEO of Renmatix. “Renmatix, as a U.S. based technology provider, takes great pride in working with global companies across the emerging bio-value chains. It reinforces the demand that exists for licensing Plantrose technology as the bridge between sustainable sources of upstream biomass, and downstream manufacturing of biochemicals and fuels.”
The deal is seen as part of the growing interest among forestry players to diversify their product portfolio and enter into the growing biochemical and biofuels markets.