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What insiders knew for years, was that former Arsenal-footballplayer Mathieu Flamini had ventured into the bio-economy as a co-founder of GFBiochemicals. At the EFIB2017, Flamini spoke about his involvement in this company.
Editorial office / Brussels

‘I have been interested from a young age on in environmental matters’, Flamini said. ‘So when the chance arrived to co-invest in a company that could make a difference, I did (together with his partner Pasquale Granata, ed.). Our company aims to mass produce levulinic acid, using a cost-effective, direct route. Levulinic acid has been labelled by the US Department of Energy as one of the twelve biochemicals of the future. However, if we can not produce this chemical and its derivatives in a cost-competitive way, there won’t be a market.’

Flamini also mentioned the acquisition of Segetis in 2016, by which GFBiochemicals has moved into down stream processing. In the R&D-stage, GFBiochemicals has selected three derivatives – gamma valerolactone, methyl butanediol en methyltetrahydrofuran – that can be used as environmentally friendly solvents and/or intermediate products for nylons, among other things. Gamma valerolactone (GVL), for example, can be used as a solvent, but also as an intermediate coupling for monomers for large-scale industrial polymers.

Image: Mitch Gunn/