The consortium carried out a screening of the existing bio-based value chains in Europe and identified the most relevant ones for which key stakeholders were involved. After the analysis of the collected value chains, seven value chains were chosen.
The SME PaperFoam is an awardwinning leader in innovative green packaging solutions. They form part of a wood products value chain, producing packaging based on wood and starch derivatives. They produce endconsumer and B2B packaging products.
With its headquarters in Barneveld, Netherlands, Paperfoam is a well-established company with a focus on sustainability. With certified bio-based material and patented injection moulding technology they serve customers in consumer electronics, medical, cosmetics and dry food industries from their facilities in the USA, Europe and Asia.
With packages produced from locally sourced raw materials (such as natural fibres and starch), PaperFoam achieves a weight reduction against conventional packaging that upholds its focus on sustainability, with low carbon footprint and viable end of life options, such as paper recyclability or home composting. These end of life options, along with its market sector, make PaperFoam of particular interest to the STAR4BBI project as it adds a standard-rich sector for further discussion.
Synbra is specialised in expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam and special materials for applications in industrial products and sustainable insulation systems. They developed and market a similar foam based on PLA, called BioFoam. They also produce PLA intermediates and thus form part of a starch and sugar-based value chain.
With headquarters in the Netherlands and offices throughout Western Europe, Synbra is present in several markets due to their vast product variety, but most active in packaging and construction. Synbra is located near the end of the value chain, with a medium production size. Next to the new BioFoam, Synbra is also still active in the EPS market.
Synbra has received the Cradle to CradleTM certification for the production of BioFoam®. This is world’s first Poly-Lactic Acid (PLA) based product and world’s first bio-based foamed product to receive this certification. Also the PLA itself has been awarded a C2C certification, making it worlds’ first PLA that has obtained this coveted recognition, Moreover the BioFoam is carbon neutral.
Being produced from the renewable resource PLA, BioFoam® is an addition to the current range of advanced airpop (EPS) products offered today. BioFoam® has a different environmental profile over traditional oil based plastics. After use, the BioFoam® product can be remoulded into a new product, just like airpop and it has additional end of life options. It can be completely biodegraded, composted or used for feedstock for recycling. Being ‘designed for the environment’ implies there is no chemical waste, which complies with the so called ‘Cradle to Cradle’ principles.
Peter Greven in Germany is one of the biggest producers of metal soaps in Europe. They form part of a vegetable oil value chain, producing oleochemical products, mainly for indus-trial applications, especially plastic additives based on fatty acids from vegetable oils and animal fats (tallow).
Peter Greven GmbH & Co. KG was founded in 1923 as a soap and glycerine company producing mainly soap bars and washing powder as consumer products. Because of the high and increasing competition on the soap market in the fifties and sixties, Peter Greven’s sons decided to move away from the consumer market and transformed the company from a soap company to a producer of oleochemical products, mainly metal soaps. Today, apart from metal soaps, also alkaline soaps (sodium and potassium soaps) and fatty esters are produced as additives for industrial applications, like plastics, construction, paper, food, and pharma-ceuticals.
Most of the products have a very high bio-based content up to 100%. Only very few prod-ucts are not bio-based or have a bio-based share below 50 %. Main raw materials are fatty acids from C8 to C22.
The bio-based fatty acids compete with petrochemical acids, especially for shorter chain acids.
Borregaard is a Norwegian company that has one of the world’s most advanced and sustainable biorefineries. By using the different components of wood, it produces lignin products, speciality cellulose, microfibrillated cellulose, vanillin and bioethanol for a variety of applications in sectors such as agriculture and fisheries, construction, pharmaceuticals and cos-metics, foodstuffs, batteries and biofuels. They form part of a lignin-value chain where they are purely a business-to-business actor.
Borregaard is established in 1889 and started with pulp and paper. The company’s core business is based on a biorefinery that manufactures products based on the different components in wood. Important products are speciality cellulose, microfibrillated cellulose, lignin performance chemicals (lignosulphonates), bio ethanol, and lignin-based vanillin. The company also produces ethyl vanillin, and fine chemicals by traditional synthetic chemistry. Today, by using natural, sustainable raw materials, Borregaard produces advanced and environmentally friendly biochemicals and biomaterials that replace oil-based products. It produces a range of products among which 160.000t per year of specialty cellulose for chemicals, around 500.000t of lignosulfonates. The lignin is produced in Norway, Spain, Germany, Czech republic, South Africa and the US.
The focal point for STAR4BBI, Borregaard’s plant in Norway, is a complete biorefinery. Production outside of Norway is lignin only. In 2017 a new product was added to the market: Micro-fibrillated Cellulose (MFC). Borregaard has used more than 10 years to develop the Exilva MFC technology and is the first company in the world to commercialise MFC through its new 1000 tonne plant. MFC is characterised by its ability to form stable three-dimensional networks of microfibers in cosmetics, paints, glues, and many other applications, and is a unique solution for high quality products such as packaging.
Kraton Corporation (Kraton) develops, manufactures and markets biobased chemicals, styrenic block copolymers and specialty polymers. It is a leading biorefiner of pine chemicals and operates in the business-to-business segment. Kraton has customers across a diverse range of end markets such as adhesives, roads & construction, tires, lubricants, fuel addi-tives and mining.
In its chemical segment, Kraton’s strategic raw materials are crude tall oil (CTO) and crude sulfate turpentine (CST), both byproducts of the kraft pulp industry. Most of its chemical manufacturing facilities are located close to paper mills but Kraton procures raw materials from multiple sources globally. Kraton refines and upgrades CTO in its biorefineries into innovative renewable specialty chemicals.
Kraton’s biobased chemicals enable numerous industries to replace fossil-based and less sustainable resources with high-performance, renewable alternatives while often also improving the quality and resilience of their products. Kraton’s Swedish Sandarne manufacturing facility pioneered the process for refining CTO into biobased chemicals in the 1930s.
To date, 19 product families covering more than 65 products from Kraton’s chemical seg-ment have been certified against the EU standard EN 16785-1. The biobased certification scheme is operated by the Netherlands Standardization Institute (NEN). These products are tested by NEN appointed laboratories and independently certified by a third party certification body. See www.biobasedcontent.eu, for more information.
Kraton supports STAR4BBI to analyse the cases of re-classification of biobased by-products produced in various industrial processes as well as identifying regulatory obstacles for supporting the material uses of industry-relevant by-products.
Reverdia produces and commercialises 100% biobased succinic acid, under the brand name Biosuccinium®. Reverdia is a Joint Venture between DSM (based in NL) and Roquette (based in FR). Reverdia headquarters are in the Netherlands, while the production plant is situated in Italy. The plant has a production capacity of 10,000 tonnes/year, making it a medium sized provider of intermediates for producing eco-friendly goods.
Biobased succinic acid is produced from corn starch hydrolysate, using world-class yeast-based fermentation technology. Succinic acid is a bio-based alternative with a lower eco-footprint for a broad range of applications, including packaging, footwear, cosmetics and many industrial uses such as adhesives, solvents. Succinic acid is used either directly in product formulation, or for synthesis of derivatives such as polymers, resins, solvents, etc. In many cases, Reverdia works with parties all along the value chain, including brand owners, especially in value chains that are less familiar with succinic acid based products.
Reverdia’s proprietary low pH yeast technology is simple, direct and holds distinct advantages over bacteria-mediated conversion technologies. The Reverdia process converts feedstock directly to succinic acid, without by-products, which is an environmentally advantageous way to produce succinic acid.
Matrica in Italy develops a state-of-the-art range of products sourced from sustainable oleaginouscrops and vegetable scraps. They form part of a vegetable oil value chain, producing biochemical and building blocks for bio-based plastics processed from vegetable oils.
Matrica is a 50:50 joint venture between Versalis (part of ENI) and Novamont, with an investment of 180 MIO/EUR. The purpose of the joint venture is to reconvert the deindustrialized petrochemical site located in Porto Torres, Italy, into an integrated biorefinery with a local production chain. Matrìca plants use a proprietary world-first technology which does not use ozone in the vegetable oil oxidative cleavage reaction, thus allowing to obtain bioproducts through a safe process with low environmental impact. The project includes the following three plants: Biomonomers (vegetable oil feedstock with a production capacity of around 35,000 tonnes per year); Esters (independent and flexible plant dedicated to the production of specialties for various applicative fields); Additives (Rubber and Polymer Additives plant, integrated into the Bio Monomers plant and dedicated to the production of extensor oils).
Starting from selected oleaginous crops , Matrìca produces a series of innovative intermediates (e.g. azelaic acid, pelargonic acid) that are deployed in various different industries: bio-plastics, bio-lubricants, home and personal care products, plant protection, additives for the rubber and plastics industry, and food fragrances.
Matrìca is strongly committed to the production of a range of products that enable the implementation of a new model of Sustainable Development geared towards innovation and towards making the most of local biodiversity.