Bio-on, Cristal Union to produce PHA from sugar beet coprodcuts

By Bio-on | August 03, 2015

An agreement recently signed by Bio-on and Cristal Union will see France’s first facility for the production of PHAs bioplastic from sugar beet coproducts. The two companies, operating in sustainable biochemistry and sugar, alcohol and bioethanol production, will work together to build a production site with a 5,000 tons per year output, expandable to 10,000 tons per year.

Requiring a €70 million ($76.67 million) investment, the facility will be located at a Cristal Union site and will be the most advanced biopolymers production site in the world. The new factory will create 50 new jobs specialized in fermentation to produce this revolutionary bioplastic.

PHAs, or polyhydroxyalkanoates, are bioplastics that can replace a number of traditional polymers currently made with petrochemical processes using hydrocarbons. The PHAs developed by Bio-on guarantee the same thermo-mechanical properties with the advantage of being completely naturally biodegradable.

“We are investing in purchasing the license for this new technology developed by Bio-on,” says Cristal Union CEO Alain Commisaire, “because this all-natural bioplastic is an extraordinary tool that can contribute towards the growth of the French sugar industry, but with a modern, eco-compatible and eco-sustainable approach.”

“We will create Europe's first PHAs production facility with France's leading sugar production and trading company,” explains Bio-on S.p.A. Chairman Marco Astorri. “We have granted the first technological license in line with our expectations and will also be creating a cutting-edge collaboration for management and development of the promising high-performing biopolymers business developed by Bio-on S.p.A. and produced in France by Cristal Union.”

The collaboration between Bio-on and Cristal Union today reaches an important milestone and adds another building block in the construction of the platform for bioplastic production in the future.