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Evry Cedex, Val-de-Marne, France, 2013/12/05 - The French biotech company Biométhodes has developed a technology that for the first time is able to valorize all parts of the biomass. This signifies a breakthrough in 2nd generation biorefineries - BioMethodes.com.
The technology will contribute to a sustainable biomass-based industry which is efficient as well as socially and environmentally sound. This industry has huge potential: It is estimated that the bio-economy will represent approximately $1.4 trillion by 2025 (biofuels alone could represent up to $13 trillion by 2050). (Sources: Silicon Valley Bank, June 2012; International Energy Agency, April 2011)
Biométhodes’ technology combines chemical engineering and biotechnology. The chemical pretreatment is a low severity process, which helps to preserve the value of all components and prevents the production of inhibitors that could negatively influence their quality. This allows for an easy and fast transformation of main biomass components into sugar, while using a significantly simpler and cheaper enzyme cocktail. The technology is bridging the gap between agriculture and forestry on the one hand and the energy and chemical industries on the other. Furthermore, the technology will generate new investment opportunities for public and private investors.
Biométhodes’ technology has three key competitive advantages:
- Feedstock costs are reduced by 30 percent by returning minerals to the soil in the form of a bio-fertilizer.
- Enzyme costs decrease by 75 percent due to the gentle pretreatment of the biomass.
- The revenues generated from the same amount of biomass are expected to increase by 150 percent using Biométhodes’ technology because the integrated approach breaks down biomass into its three components, allowing the biorefinery not only to produce bioethanol but to generate:
- high-quality lignin, which can be used as aromatics additive for jet fuels, dispersants, emulsifiers, carbon fibers or resins,
- hemi-cellulose, which can be processed into a variety of high-value chemicals and animal feed,
- sucrose and glucose, which can be transformed into a wide range of high value chemicals such as bio-plastics, biofuel or bio-polymers,
Biométhodes is currently in the process of scaling up its technology to the industrial level. Upon success and completion of the pilot phase, Biométhodes will supply technology, know-how and technical assistance during the construction and set-up phase of new facilities. It will also contribute essential enzymes to the operators of future plants. In comparison to the evaluation of other competitors which have already become public, Biométhodes has the potential to become a one billion dollars company.
About Biométhodes SA
Biométhodes SA (biomethodes.com), which was founded in 1998 in Evry (France), is a leading company in the field of the pretreatment of non-food or lignocellulosic biomass. Biométhodes currently employs more than 30 people in France and the United States. At the heart of Biométhodes’ research and development is a team of dedicated experts combining skills in molecular biology, engineering and biomass processing. Dr. Gilles Amsallem joined the company in 2007 as its CEO. The advisory board is made up of internationally renowned experts in the field of biorefineries and biotechnology: Dr. Uwe Franke, former president of BP Europe, Professor Pierre Monsan, professor at the Institut National des Sciences Appliquées of Toulouse (France), and Professor Daniel Thomas, French pioneer in the field of industrial biotechnology and expert for the OECD, the NSF and NASA.