Novamont has announced plans to build a news demonstration plant for the production of FDCA, a monomer that the company says has until now never been produced industrially from renewable sources. The monomer will be produced based on proprietary technology developed by Novamont.
The company says the new plant will be located in Terni, Italy and will further promote the upstream integration of Novamont’s production chain. The FDCA from the demonstration plant can be processed on existing lines and, together with other bio-monomers, be used to develop and synthesise new, compostable products - ‘fifth-generation Mater-Bi’, said Novamont.
The company is looking to develop novel renewably-sourced materials for applications requiring good barrier properties - oxygen and carbon dioxide, for the food packaging sector, coffee capsules, etc. - to replace conventional plastics.
Novamont is funding the investment by means of a €20 million loan provided by Intesa Sanpaolo, one of the most sustainable banks in the world. Intesa Sanpaolo is the Financial Services Strategic Partner of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
The company announced that part of the funds will be used to build a bio-methane plant at the Mater-Biotech plant in Bottrighe (Rovigo) based on the fermentation of spent microorganisms. Through chemical absorption technology, all the biogas produced will be upgraded, resulting in a high-purity biomethane stream that can be fed directly into the grid, and a CO2-rich stream that can be reused in chemical and biotechnological processes. The site will thus boast the world’s first plant for the industrial production of bio-butanediol from sugars through fermentation. Once completed, it will become the first UNI/TS 11567 certified plant in Italy for the production of advanced biofuels from renewable process by-products.