Global Bioenergies has reached two milestones—the labscale performance and the industrial process scale-up—of its process to produce renewable isobutene, one of them more than 2 months in advance. The BioMA+ project is financed by the ADEME in the context of the French “Investissements d’Avenir” State program. The project targets the development of a value chain that converts renewable resources into isobutene and subsequently into methacrylic acid, an essential component of acrylic paints. These milestones give rise to a payment of €879,000 (US$936,000).
Since 2008, Global Bioenergies has been developing an innovative process to convert renewable resources into isobutene, one of the main building blocks of the petrochemical industry from which fuels, plastics and rubbers are made.
In 2013, the Company announced that, as part of its “Investissements d’Avenir” program, the French government had granted financing of €5.2 million (US$5.5 million) to a consortium bringing together Arkema, the French center for scientific research (CNRS) and Global Bioenergies.
The project involves developing and demonstrating at pilot scale a process for converting renewable resources (sugar, cereals, agricultural and forestry wastes) into isobutene, which is subsequently converted into methacrylic acid, an essential component of acrylic paints and for which there is a market of more than €500 million. At the beginning of 2015, Global Bioenergies announced having reached the project’s first milestone and having received payments totaling €2.3 million (US$2.5 million) from the overall amount of €4 million (US$4.3 million) directly allocated to the Company.
In recent months we have made very significant progress in industrializing our isobutene process. We are already preparing the next phase, which will consist in operating our process in our demonstration plant, which is currently under construction at the Leuna site in Germany. This will be the last stage before large-scale commercial operations. The installation of a first plant in France is already being discussed within the context of the IBN-One Joint Venture, started this year with the Cristal Union Group.—Marc Delcourt, Co-founder and CEO of Global Bioenergies