Bologna, 13 March 2015 – Bio-on S.p.A., the leader in eco-sustainable chemical technologies, and COPROB SCA, Italy’s largest sugar producer using sugar beet, renew and strengthen their partnership begun in 2008.
“The agreement signed today,” explains Claudio Gallerani, Chairman of COPROB, “is part of a long-running investment plan and is the natural continuation of the collaboration begun seven years ago with Bio-on, which has enabled the development of the technology required to transform sugar beet co-products into a new generation of bioplastics. We will be investing a further 960 thousand euro in broadening the field of application of this technology,” says Gallerani.
With this development, COPROB stands to immediately broaden the portfolio of innovations introduced by Bio-on in the last two years for PHAs production from sugar beet waste. The portfolio already includes a hundred or so formulations “ready to use” in the industrial sector. PHAs, or polyhydroxyalkanoates, are bioplastics that can replace a number of traditional polymers currently made with petrochemical processes using hydrocarbons. PHAs guarantee the same thermo-mechanical properties with the advantage of being completely naturally biodegradable.
“We are extremely proud,” explains Marco Astorri, Chairman of Bio-on S.p.A., “because this new agreement enables our partner Co.Pro.B. to extend its industrial technological availability and offer the market a broader range of bioplastic products.”
The agreement between the two companies arises from Bio-on’s laboratory research and development and from the financial backing of COPROB, Italy’s sole agent for PHAs production from sugar beet.
COPROB brings together approximately 5,900 agricultural companies in Emilia-Romagna and Veneto and, with its two facilities in Minerbio (BO) and Pontelongo (PD), it is the national leading sugar beet manufacturer. Operating under the brand name Italia Zuccheri, which markets the first sugar to be certified “100% Italian”, COPROB group holds a national market share of 21%. The Group has initiated diversification into the energy sector using renewable sources.
Bio-On S.p.A., an Italian Intellectual Property Company (IPC), operates in the bioplastic sector conducting applied research and development of modern bio-fermentation technologies in the field of eco-sustainable and completely naturally biodegradable materials. In particular, Bio-On develops industrial applications through the creation of product characterisations, components and plastic items. Since February 2015, Bio-On S.p.A. has also been operating in the development of natural and sustainable chemicals for the future.
Bio-On has developed an exclusive process for the production of a family of polymers called PHAs (polyhydroxyalkanoates) from agricultural waste (including molasses and sugar cane and sugar beet syrups). The bioplastic produced in this way is able to replace the main families of traditional plastics in terms of performance, thermo-mechanical properties and versatility.
Bio-On PHA is a bioplastic that can be classified as 100% natural and completely biodegradable: this has been certified in Europe by Vincotte and in the US by USDA (United States Department of Agriculture). The Issuer’s strategy envisages the marketing of licenses for PHAs production and related ancillary services, the development of R&D (also through new collaborations with universities, research centres and industrial partners), as well as the realisation of industrial plants designed by Bio-On.