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Funding for bio-butadiene pilot plant / Commercialisation expected within three years / Plans to license process globally

Funding for bio-butadiene pilot plant / Commercialisation expected within three years / Plans to license process globally
2 May 2016
Russia’s ETB Catalytic Technologies (ETB CaT, Moscow; www.etbcat.com) has been granted funding of USD 600,000 to build a pilot plant for producing 1,3-butadiene from renewable feedstock. The investors, leading Russian engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) company Zavkom and non-profit organisation the Skolkovo Foundation received 22% of ETB CaT.

Russia’s ETB Catalytic Technologies (ETB CaT, Moscow; www.etbcat.com) has been granted funding of USD 600,000 to build a pilot plant for producing 1,3-butadiene from renewable feedstock. The investors, leading Russian engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) company Zavkom (Tambov;  www.zavkomgroup.com) and non-profit organisation the Skolkovo Foundation (Moscow;  http://sk.ru/foundation) received 22% of ETB CaT.

The company expects to complete pilot testing of its bio-butadiene process by 2018 and plans to license the technology worldwide. ETB CaT said it holds a number of patents globally, including in Russia and the USA, with 15 applications on file nationally. Several companies are developing renewable butadiene, including Genomatica, Axens and Global Bioenergies (Plasteurope.com has reported extensively).

Vladimir Trembovolsky, CEO of ETB CaT, said compared with its competitors, the company had attracted relatively lower investments with respect to similar solutions at R&D stage, but its technology was the only one so far to have achieved successful industrial application. “This makes us faster in the process of commercialisation and we expect to achieve an industrial scale within three years. Of course, this will require the company to secure additional investment of at least USD 10m,” he said.

Commenting on the technology, Irina Ivanova, head of the kinetics and catalysis laboratory at Lomonosov Moscow State University, said the high activity and selectivity to butadiene was achieved due to new multifunctional catalysts which were the key element of the process. “One-step process is favourable to increase the efficiency of the technology eliminating the expensive multi-stage separation systems,” she noted.

The Russian government established the Skolkovo Foundation in September 2010 to accelerate the country’s transformation from a resource-intensive to an innovation-based economy. The Skolkovo Innovation Center houses about 1,400 start-ups spread across several technology clusters, yielding cumulative revenue through December 2014 of USD 1 bn.

ETB CaT said the start-ups had brought in investment of more than USD 220m, filed over 1,300 patent applications and created 13,500 jobs.

Source: https://www.plasteurope.com/news/ETB_CATALYTIC_TECHNOLOGIES_t233904/