17 Juni 2013

Latest Milestone from Novamont’s Research with an Extraordinary Reindustrialisation Potential: The Fourth Generation of Mater-Bi®

New Generation of Materials Combines Two Already Consolidated Technologies of Complexed Starches and Polyesters

  • Increase in content of renewable materials, improvement in technical and environmental performance, further reduction in dependence on fossil raw materials.

  • Integrating 4 different proprietary technologies each of them able to induce further incremental innovations and widening the applications range.

Novamont has unveiled the first product made from 4th generation Mater-Bi®, the family of biodegradable and compostable bioplastics designed to go beyond the product itself and become an opportunity to develop circular bioeconomies. It also aims to stimulate reindustrialisation through the development of integrated Biorefineries.

The industrialisation of two new highly innovative technologies will make it possible to produce two monomers from renewable sources. The first, from the vegetable oil production chain, is obtained using a completely new technology which transforms oils into azelaic acid and other acids through a chemical process. The other, 1.4 BDO, comes from the fermatation of sugars using technology licensed from Genomatica for which Novamont, through its subsidiary MaterBiotech, is building the world’s first dedicated plant.

The new generation of materials, combines two already consolidated technologies of complexed starches and polyesters from oils and the new technologies, can be used for a wide range of applications, including flexible and rigid films, coatings, printing, extrusion and thermoforming. It contains an even higher proportion of renewable raw materials and an even lower level of greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on fossil raw materials.

Novamont presented the roadmap for future generations of Mater-Bi® products at the European Bioplastics Conference 2009 in Berlin. It has pursued these objectives by creating a system of alliances, with investments of around €300 million, and it is developing two plants which will be the first of their kind anywhere in the world:

  • at Porto Torres within the scope of Matrìca, the equal joint venture between Novamont and Eni Versalis, for the production of azelaic acid from vegetable oil in addition to a wide range of chemicals;

  • at Bottrighe, through its subsidiary MaterBiotech, for the production of 1.4 Butanediol

“As well as confirming our leading position in low environmental impact technologies and products, today’s announcement marks an important milestone in our long-term strategy for developing the Novamont model of the integrated third-generation biorefinery, based on connected proprietary technologies applied to declining industrial sites.

In Europe these sites can become catalysts for the regeneration of areas which are currently facing serious difficulties, as part of a regional development model with local roots and a global vision, encouraging entrepreneurship and teaching about the efficient use of resources through a genuine school on the ground. I am convinced that integrated Biorefineries that focus on a number of value added products represent a virtuous way of interpreting the concept of Bioeconomy and a real opportunity for our country and for Europe,” said Catia Bastioli, CEO of Novamont.

About Novamont S.p.A.
Novamont is the leading company in the development and production of materials and biochemicals through the integration of chemistry, the environment and agriculture. With 323 employees (20% employed full time in R&D), it registered a turnover of €135 million in 2012 and made continuous investments in research and development activities (4.9% of its 2012 turnover). It has a portfolio of around 1,000 patents. It has its headquarters in Novara, a production facility in Terni and research laboratories in Novara, Terni and Piana di Monte Verna (CE).
Novamont has subsidiaries in Porto Torres (SS) and Bottrighe (RO). It has commercial offices in Germany, France and the United States and operates through its own distributors in Benelux, Scandinavia, Denmark, the United Kingdom, China, Japan, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Source: Novamont S.p.A., press release, 2013-06-17.

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