Novamont Launches Commercial Scale Facility For BDO

Oct. 4, 2016
Novamont’s Mater-Biotech plant will produce 30,000 tons of 1,4-butanediol per year from renewable sources rather than fossil fuels.

Novamont opens a commercial-scale facility for the bio-based production of 1,4-butanediol (BDO) in Bottrighe (Adria), North East Italy. Novamont’s Mater-Biotech plant will reportedly produce 30,000 tons of BDO per year from renewable sources rather than fossil fuels to make products with a higher content of renewable resources. The plant benefits from a partnership that combines Genomatica's Geno BDO process technology to convert sugars to BDO with Novamont’s skills in developing low-impact processes.

Novamont’s plant will produce 70% more BDO than the original target of 18,000 tons, according to the company. The plant is currently up and running and is reportedly expected to reach full production rate in 2017.

BDO produced by the plant enables Novamont to produce its fourth-generation of Mater-Bi bioplastics with greater sustainability. Mater-Bi is used to make biodegradable, compostable products such as fruit and vegetables bags, mulch film and coffee capsules. The products made with this new BDO will save an estimated 56% of greenhouse gas emissions compared to the use of conventional BDO, according to Novamount.

Novamont reportedly invested 100 million euros (approximately $110 million dollars) to build the plant. Up to 300 people were employed during construction and 70 people are employed at the plant, according to the company.

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