Alternatives to petrochemistry
The biological processes developed by METabolic EXplorer are more environmentally friendly than petrochemical processes. By using industrial fermentation instead of chemistry and more sustainable supply sources, METEX processes contribute to reducing the carbon footprint and meeting the expectations of socially conscious consumers.
The biological processes developed by METabolic EXplorer are competitive. Their excellent economic performance comes from a combination of an optimised biocatalyst, use of competitive and renewable raw materials, and exploitation of biomasses and by-products.
METEX has chosen to invest in the development of manufacturing processes in which biochemistry adds value to the uses of the final products made with them. The biological processes developed by METabolic EXplorer offer key factors of product differentiation and competitiveness, especially for applications where the renewable carbon content, a natural product, and/or excellent performance are objectives.
METEX is partnering with Finnish group UPM, a world leader in the paper industry, to develop a process for manufacturing MPG (1,2-Propanediol) from cellulosic sugars. This two-party agreement is part of a collaborative project of the ValChem consortium aimed at demonstrating the technical feasibility and competitiveness of a biorefinery producing wood-based chemical products.
Polymers are basic synthetic products used in the manufacture of such things as plastic materials, packaging, resins, and construction materials. Synthetic polymers have become the essential component of a very large number of everyday items. METEX processes offer alternatives that help produce polymers using less oil, thereby decreasing their environmental footprint.
By developing a process to manufacture MPG (1,2-Propanediol) using sugars from wood, METEX seeks to help increase the proportion of renewable carbon in polymers such as unsaturated polyester resins, polyurethanes, and thermoplastics.
The production capacity for bio-based polymers is projected to increase at a rate of around 10% a year, compared with 3-4% a year for petrochemical polymers.
(Source: Nova Institute, 2015)