Isobutene is a fantastically useful platform molecule that can be converted into amongst other materials gasoline and rubber and is used in various applications across the chemical and cosmetics industries. Fifteen million tonnes of isobutene are produced every year from fossil resources. Since 2008, Global Bioenergies has been developing a process to produce isobutene from renewable resources (residual sugar, agricultural and forestry waste) which will reduce the carbon dioxide footprint for isobutene manufacture.
A new programme from Investissements dAvenir has been confirmed and will provide funding to Global Bioenergies and IBN-One, as part of a programme involving Cristal Union and LOral.
The 9 million funding was approved within the framework of the Investissements dAvenir programme, as part of the Demonstrators for the Environmental and Energy Transition section, operated by ADEME. This funding is made up of repayable advances in the event of success, and will be paid out in several tranches throughout the project, including an initial tranche of 15%.
Global Bioenergies ( @)is one of the few companies worldwide, and the only one in Europe, that is developing a process to convert renewable resources into hydrocarbons through fermentation. As the project coordinator, they will mainly be responsible for completing the industrial development of the process, and may receive up to 5.7 million.
Frdric Pques, Chief Operations Officer of Global Bioenergies, stated: We would like to thank the French state, who has supported us ever since the Isobutene programme was launched. The process is now entering a new phase of development: step by step, we are leading up to our targeted performance, and we are getting ready to run the process in our demo plant, whose construction in Germany will be completed within the next few months..
IBN-One was created in 2015 as a Joint-Venture owned 50% by Global Bioenergies and 50% byCristal Union. They may receive 3.3 million, which will mainly be dedicated to life cycle analyses, engineering design work in the plant, and the market value validation of derivatives intended for the fuels (gasoline and kerosene), materials and cosmetics.
Bernard Chaud, CEO of IBN-One, pointed out: Obtaining this funding marks an important step on the road leading us to having the IBN-One plant up and running. We have just concluded the plants conceptual design, and will now enter the detailed engineering phase. This plant should become operational in 2019, with an annual capacity of approximately 50,000 tonnes. Atmospheric emissions of CO2will be reduced by more than twice the amount of isobutene produced.
Cristal Union (@), is an agro-industrial cooperative group which accounts for approximately 40% of French beet production, encompassing 2,200 employees and 9,300 growers. It will be working on the supply of sugar beet substrates and preparing the integration of the future production unit into one of its sites.
Xavier Astolfi, Deputy CEO of Cristal Union, added the following: It will be the first commercial plant producing bio-sourced isobutene worldwide. This project is developing in the context of the impending end to sugar quotas, which is inspiring the entire European beet growing industry to identify additional outlets.
LOral will test batches of compounds derived from bio-sourced isobutene, with a view to becoming an IBN-One client once the plant operational. LOrals new sustainability commitment for 2020Sharing Beauty With Allsets out ambitious sustainable development objectives across the Groups value chain.
Laurent Gilbert, Sustainable Innovation Director at LOral ( @)added: Isobutene is a molecule whose derivatives are widely used in cosmetics. Accessing sustainable, bio-sourced products is in line with our commitments towards protecting the environment.
Marc Delcourt, CEO of Global Bioenergies, concluded: This commercial plant project moves forward in a context where the main energy agencies consider the end of oil overproduction to be fast approaching. IBN-One will help to reduce the consumption of fossil resources and will contribute in building a more environmentally friendly world.
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