New technology to transform plant products into a wide range of products

Petroleum derivatives are used to create a wide range of products, including plastics, clothing, smartphones, furniture, flavors, cosmetics, detergents and pharmaceuticals. And massive fossil carbon emissions are known to lead to global warming.

Guided by this belief and determination to cut carbon emissions, startup Bloom Biorenewables has developed a technology that uses plant materials as an alternative to petroleum products to import a wide range of products, which including bioplastics, clothing, cosmetics, and even perfumes. .

Rémy Buser, CEO of Bloom Biorenewables, another company working on EPFL, and his team are working hard to market technology quickly. They believe their technology would allow manufacturers to use renewable carbon from biofuels as a substitute for petrol, particularly for plastic packaging, perfumery and marine biofuels.

Despite alternatives to using petrol as an energy source, non-fossil carbon sources are currently not cost-effective to replace in manufactured goods. Manufacturers who do not want to rely on fossil fuels have two possible solutions: using carbon found in atmospheric CO2 or extracting carbon from biofuels.

Currently, only cellulose is found, which makes up about 40% of the total weight of biomass; it is extracted in fiber, which can be used to make paper, for example, or refined into bioethanol. The rest is burned or thrown away.

Bloom Biorenewables technology allows biofuels to recover other components, namely lignin, and hemicellulose, as one. It will also help manufacturers use almost 75% of this environmentally friendly facility.

Hemicellulose and lignin make up about 30% -40% of plant biofuels. Lignin energy density is 30% higher than cellulose level. So far, one of the obstacles in using it is that it is difficult to break down during processing.

In 2016, researchers at the EPFL Laboratory of Sustainable and Catalytic Processing (LPDC) developed a method that solves this problem by adding aldehyde. Aldehydes stabilizes the lignin and hemicellulose and keeps them from dissociating.

COO of Bloom Biorenewables, Florent Héroguel, said “With our technology, manufacturers can produce sustainable, accurate products. The advantage of “green” carbon is that it responds to the earth’s natural cycle and prevents the imbalances caused by carbon emissions. buried for tens of millions of years – and largely dependent on global warming. ”

The company ‘s recently raised € 3.9 million in the capital provides key facilities for business development and is a mark of recognition from industry professionals around the world. The fundraising round was led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures-Europe (BEV-E), a new European fund launched by a consortium involving Bill Gates. BEV-E supports start-up work that is “visionary, bold, and focused on a global carbon reduction strategy.”