As expected, the commercial success in renewable products lies in the added functionalities or possible cost savings. These aspects were discussed by various companies at the EFIB 2017-conference in Brussels.
One telling example came from Green Biologics. The enterprise produces from corn n-butanol and acetone, based on a proprietary process. The n-butanol does not contain aldehydes and isobutanol. Green Biologics has developed an application on n-butanol: GreenFlame, a lighter fluid for firing up charcoal (barbeque). ‘The product on the market is fossil-based, making your meat taste like diesel’, a representative of the company said. ‘With our product, there is no impact on the taste of meat, fish or vegetables.’ At the moment, GreenFlame is available in around 1000 store-outlets. US retail Kroger has listed the product.
The performance-aspect was also addressed by Cellucomp. The company has invented a proprietary process that is unique in allowing the properties of cellulose nano-fibres to be fully utilised. CEO Christian Kemp-Griffin: ‘Our Curran-fibres (harvested from sugar beets, ed.) are strong, stiff and light: properties which allow the production of composites with performance characteristics comparable to those based on conventional carbon fibre technology.’ Possible applications are paints and coatings, concrete, drilling fluids, cosmetics, personal care and home care products.
According to Kemp-Griffin, his company is talking to a paints manufacturer to include Curran in some of its products. The usps are in the field of performance, cost saving (by eliminating certain components) and a better sustainability profile. He also stated that end manufacturers still are hesitant to reformulate their products to fit in ‘new’ components. ‘Companies and individuals are risk-averse. We tend to opt for the least risky road, avoiding a potential winner.’ Kemp-Griffin finally disclosed that CelluComp is planning to open a production plant, preferably on-site at a sugar beet refining factory.