Producing mass quantities of chemicals has its roots in the industrial revolution. But industrial synthesis leads to sizeable sustainability and socioeconomic challenges. The rapid advances in biotechnology suggest that biological manufacturing on a small scale may soon be a feasible alternative, says Rice University Professor Ramon Gonzalez and his researchers in a review1 published in Science.
Conventional car tires are made from petrochemical isoprene. Researchers at the University of Minnesota developed a process to produce the chemical from biomass.
The government and private sector under the Pracha Rat public-private collaborative scheme recently launched the bioeconomy development plan to promote more private investment in biotechnology-related businesses, according to local press reports.
Scientists from the Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies (CSCT) at the University of Bath have developed a renewable plastic from a chemical called pinene found in pine needles.
Anellotech successfully extends catalyst lifetime for the biomass to aromatic chemicals and fuels process [Registered]
Anellotech recently announced that it has developed proprietary technology to extend catalyst lifetime in its Bio-TCat process for low-cost conversion of biomass into valuable aromatic chemicals and renewable fuels.
Specialty chemical company Akzo Nobel has signed a framework joint development agreement with Itaconix, the world leader in polymers from itaconic acid, to explore opportunities for the production of biobased polymers
Anthocyanins, plant pigments known for their health-promoting properties, are in demand for medicinal and industrial uses. Researchers at The Ohio State University have been successful in increasing anthocyanin extract production in turfgrasses such as rough bluegrass following optimal light treatments.
The Italian biotech start-up Bio-on recently announced that has signed a licensing deal with a major customer worth €55 million (US$57.5 million) for its biobased PHAs (poly-hydroxy-alkanoates) technology.
Toray Industries is partnering with Mitsui Sugar Co. to manufacture cellulosic sugar from cane bagasse in Thailand.
The US biotech start-up recently announce that it is partnering with Queensland state, Australia to produced biobased products for the rapidly-growing personal care sector in Asia, sourcing sugarcane industry for the feedstock.