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BASF Invests in Renmatix for Mass Production of Industrial Sugars Using Wood Biomass

BASF will invest $30 million in Renmatix, a technology firm based in the United States, through its subsidiary, BASF Biorenewable Beteiligungs. The BASF subsidiary headed a $50 million funding round that also included current and new investors.

Renmatix has developed a patented process called the Plantrose platform to synthesize industrial sugar using lignocellulosic biomass such as straw, cane trash and wood as feedstock. This process for the first time allows mass production of industrial sugar at favorable cost using non-edible plant mass. Industrial sugars are the chemical industry’s major renewable resources. It can be used to manufacture intermediates, basic chemical products and biofuels by fermentative methods.

The Plantrose technology breaks biomass into sugar and cellulose in supercritical water in a two-step process conducted at high pressure and temperature. It does not affect the food and feed production as its feedstock is a non-edible biomass.

Renmatix’ Chief Executive Officer, Mike Hamilton stated that the BASF collaboration will help the company to design and commercialize its technology efficiently. The company has already illustrated the capability of its Plantrose technology in a pilot plant. Through the BASF partnership, the company is now ready to transform its technology to the industrial scale, he added.

BASF’s Senior Vice President of Modeling, Formulation Research and Technology Incubation, Josef R. Wunsch stated that the Renmatix collaboration is in line with the company’s strategy of providing widespread sustainable solutions, while allowing the company to take a new path. The Plantrose process will enable the company to expand its renewable raw material applications, while saving costs in its value chains, he added.

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