Nobel Prize-winning natural-oils-to-monomers tech goes commercial

The first biorefinery based on a proprietary metathesis technology is now shipping commercial products, including novel specialty chemicals. Wilmar International Ltd., an agribusiness based in Singapore, and Elevance Renewable Sciences Inc., a high-growth specialty chemicals company headquartered in Woodbridge, IL, announced they have begun deliveries from their first world-scale biorefinery, a joint venture located in Gresik, Indonesia.

Andy Shafer, executive VP, sales and marketing for Elevance, explained to PlasticsToday that Elevance Renewable Sciences formed in 2007 as a spin-off from Cargill. "Since then we have raised over $300 million in financing and grown from just a few people to 150 today," Shafer said. "Our proprietary metathesis technology enables a very novel process to make high-performance specialty chemicals from natural oils such as soybean or canola here in the U.S., and initially from palm oil in Southeast Asia. We can use any renewable oils available-breaking the oils down and reforming them into specialty chemicals through a catalyst, which won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2005. We have exclusive access to that chemistry for use with natural oils." ...

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