Origin Materials, a young, West Sacramento-based company specialised in the development of carbon negative materials has earned the right to display the U.S. Department of Agriculture Certified Biobased Product label on its chloromethyl furfural (CMF) and hydrothermal carbon (HTC) products.
This label, on which a product's biobased content is clearly stated, is a voluntary product certification initiative administered through the USDA BioPreferred Program, a USDA-led initiative that aims to assist in the development and expansion of markets for biobased products. Manufacturers may be granted a USDA-certified biobased product label upon third-party verification of a product’s minimum biobased content set by USDA. The programme, created by the 2002 Farm Bill, also lays down mandatory purchasing requirements for Federal agencies and Federal contractors, requiring them to buy products with the highest biobased content.
Origin’s CMF and HTC qualify for mandatory federal purchasing by meeting or exceeding the minimum biobased content requirements for one or more product categories identified by the USDA.
"Earning the USDA Certified Biobased Product label is a significant step in our mission to transition the world to sustainable, carbon-negative materials,” said Rich Riley, co-CEO of Origin Materials. With this third-party certification of our cost-advantaged platform materials, CMF and HTC, Origin becomes a preferred supplier of biobased materials to the United States government.”
According to a report that USDA released in July 2019, biobased products contributed $459 billion to the U.S. economy in 2016 (a 17% increase from 2014) and support, directly and indirectly, 4.6 million jobs. The report's research team estimates the reduction of fossil fuels and associated GHG emissions from biobased products equivalent to approximately 12 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) prevented as of 2016.
Origin’s technology platform chemically converts carbon-negative feedstocks like wood, post-consumer cardboard, and construction wastes wood chips to produce both HTC and CMF. CMF can be made into paraxylene – a key feedstock for purified terephthalic acid, which, combined with monoethylene glycol produces PET. CMF can also be converted to furandicarboxylic acid - FDCA - which is one of the monomers in PEF, a 100% biobased polyester similar to PET but with enhanced barrier properties. In the shorter term, Origin plans to use its HTC to produce fuel for power production and activated carbon. In the longer term, the company will create a biobased carbon black replacement based on HTC.
"We applaud Origin Materials for earning the USDA Certified Biobased Product label," said Vernell Thompson, USDA BioPreferred Program. "Products from Origin Materials will contribute to an ever-expanding marketplace that adds value to renewable agriculture commodities, creates jobs in rural communities, and decreases our reliance on petroleum."