Helena Tavares Kennedy – Biofuels Digest http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest The world's most widely-read advanced bioeconomy daily Thu, 19 Sep 2019 16:49:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.11 Red, blue or pink: Time to think about bioink- Is the pen mightier than the sword? If it’s the right kind of ink http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/2019/09/15/red-blue-or-pink-time-to-think-about-bioink-is-the-pen-mightier-than-the-sword-if-its-the-right-kind-of-ink/ Sun, 15 Sep 2019 21:39:26 +0000 http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/?p=111243

Ink – it’s something we all use. Whether a pen to “ink a deal” or write a quick note, or ink for our printers, it’s something we rely on pretty much every day. Even tattoos use ink so it’s literally all around us and even on us. And nowadays the right ink can be even more powerful than the sword because it can give life instead of take away life. We’ll get into how in a minute, but first, isn’t all ink bioink?

Short answer, nope but it’s a bit more to the story than that. While modern day ink is usually composed of petroleum ingredients, ink has a very biobased beginning. It is believed that the first writing ink was invented in 2500 B. C. by mixing carbon with gum. Over history, it shifted from a kind of soot by-product of fire to resin of pine trees, graphite ground with water, iron salts, tannin from gallnuts, hawthorn branches, walnut oil, soy oil, and even corn and canola oils.

But somewhere around the mid-1900s petroleum-based inks were discovered and shown to be a bit better in terms of drying qualities. Petroleum-based inks became pretty widespread until the oil shortages of 1970s made vegetable oils a more cost effective alternative especially for printing inks.

But we are seeing a trend towards more and more biobased inks, even if some are not 100% biobased. No, we aren’t going back to building a fire and taking the soot from it (well, maybe someone out there is), but rather there are a slew of companies that are being quite innovative in their approach to ink. And some are even using bioink to 3D print human organs, literally giving ink the ability to save lives.

Here are some of the latest ones we’ve seen.

Sun Chemical’s SunPak

Just last week in the United Kingdom, Sun Chemical’s biobased offset inkset for food packaging, dubbed SunPak FSP, has been certified 77% biobased by Beta Analytic, as reported in NUU.

“For some years Sun Chemical has been working to promote sustainable solutions, such as SunPak FSP, and our ongoing approach to sustainability guides the way we develop, manufacture and distribute products, as well as how we work with our customers and suppliers,” says Felipe Mellado, Chief Marketing Officer and Board Member at Sun Chemical. “It’s therefore gratifying now to be able to provide independent evidence of the sustainable quality of SunPak FSP—one of our most popular ink ranges.”

Sun Chemical says demand for Sunpak FSP has grown by double digits annually in Europe since its launch.

Beta Analytic is a leader in Carbon-14 measurements. At its testing laboratory in Florida the lab measured the ratio of radiocarbon in the inkset relative to a National Institute of Standards and Technology modern reference standard (SRM 4990C) and the results were accredited to ISO/IEC 17025:2005 accreditation, the highest level of recognized quality any testing or calibration laboratory can attain.

The ratio of radiocarbon was calculated as a percentage and reported as the percentage of “Biobased Carbon”, which indicates the percentage of carbon in the inkset from “natural” (plant-based) sources versus “synthetic” (petrochemical) sources. The test showed that, on average, 77% of the total organic carbon in the inks in the SunPak FSP range is biobased carbon content, with only 23% being fossil carbon, of which the majority relates to pigments.

Ingevity’s AltaPrint

Also last week, South-Carolina based Ingevity, a specialty chemicals company, launched a new environmentally friendly AltaPrint ink resin product line. A phenol- and formaldehyde-free modified rosin resin, AltaPrint is formulated for use in heatset and sheetfed inks for the packaging and commercial printing markets and is available globally.

According to their press release, “The AltaPrint family of products offers customers a more eco-friendly rosin resin alternative to petroleum-based phenolic modified resins without sacrificing performance characteristics such as gloss and film hardness. In addition, Altaprint’s increased bio-content means it contains more renewable raw materials than phenolic-based competitors.”

Living Ink’s Algae Ink

In Colorado, a startup is producing sustainable ink for packaging using algae as feedstock, as reported in NUU in May. Living Ink is using proprietary technology to take the crude pigment from algae and purify it, mill it, and form it into a dispersion that can then be formulated into a variety of products including ink – so it’s biobased and compostable.

“I recall thinking, why are we making disposable packaging ink with materials that are made to last an eternity?” Fulbright writes in an issue of Cosmetics Business. “Why not use pigments that nature has already developed and which grow on a massive scale?”

Algae Black has also been found cut carbon dioxide equivalent emissions by 200% per ton produced compared with traditional carbon black, Fulbright adds.

In fact, as reported in NUU in August, Living Ink is partnering with printers to bring Algae Ink to commercialization. Shelf life of the ink was a challenge the company has now overcome by “refining the pigment into a purer form, while tweaking the ink formulation to keep pigments suspended in solution,” Dr. Scott Fulbright, Living Ink’s CEO told Ink World.

The ink is very similar to other ink formulations making it a “drop-in” solution so printers can use it just like any other ink. Even better, they developed several different colors of algae to make different colored inks, though black ink is still the one with the most demand and the one they are focused on scaling up.

And interestingly, Living Ink has brought in commercial partner Cellana, along with Neste, on a new commercial agreement with POS Bio-Sciences. Cellana signed a term sheet for $27 million of debt-based project financing with an undisclosed project financing partner for a proposed 54-acre commercial algae facility.

The 54-acre commercial algae facility is expected to produce 700 to 800 metric tons of KA32 algae (on a dry weight basis) annually with estimated pre-tax cash margins of over 50%, based on the yield, price, and cost estimates provided to the project financing partner. The project financing partner has also indicated the availability of more than $100 million of additional debt-based project financing for subsequent commercial facilities, based on the success of the proposed 54-acre commercial algae facility.

KA32 is a strain of the genus Nannochloropsis enriched with high-value EPA Omega-3 oils, and the algae meal remaining after extraction of EPA Omega-3 oils has been successfully demonstrated in large-scale animal feed trials and in commercial algae-based ink products sold by Cellana’s partner Living Ink Technologies.

Chalmers University Wood-based Ink

In Sweden, researchers at Chalmers University of Technology have succeeded in 3D printing with a wood-based ink in a way that mimics the unique ‘ultrastructure’ of wood, as reported in NUU in July. Through emulating the natural cellular architecture of wood, they now present the ability to create green products derived from trees, with unique properties – everything from clothes, packaging, and furniture to healthcare and personal care products.

By previously converting wood pulp into a nanocellulose gel, researchers at Chalmers had already succeeded in creating a type of ink that could be 3D printed. Now, they present a major progression – successfully interpreting and digitising wood’s genetic code, so that it can instruct a 3D printer.

It means that now, the arrangement of the cellulose nanofibrils can be precisely controlled during the printing process, to actually replicate the desirable ultrastructure of wood. Being able to manage the orientation and shape means that they can capture those useful properties of natural wood.

A further advance on previous research is the addition of hemicellulose, a natural component of plant cells, to the nanocellulose gel. The hemicellulose acts as a glue, giving the cellulose sufficient strength to be useful, in a similar manner to the natural process of lignification, through which cell walls are built.

Sugarcane Bagasse Waste for Ink

As reported in NUU in February, in Scandinavia and Argentina, researchers are using sugarcane waste bagasse in 3D printing. So sweet to use something already used all over the world for ethanol, food, etc. for yet another cool product. Even better, it’s waste that is already there.

“Bagasse is an underutilized agro-industrial residue with great potential as raw material for the production of cellulose nanofibrils (CNF) for a range of applications,” the researchers say in their paper, “Pulping and Retreatment Affect the Characteristics of Bagasse Inks for Three-dimensional Printing.”

The work involved extracting bagasse fibers using soda and hydrothermal treatment. According to the researchers—who 3D printed ears and noses to demonstrate the material’s utility—the pulping process is important to design inks for 3D printing that have appropriate surface chemistry, chemical composition and nanofibrillar morphology. “This is an aspect that has not been considered before in the design and formulation of inks for 3D bioprinting,” says author Gary Chinga-Carrasco. The CNFs produced were less nanofibrillated than corresponding material produced by soda pulping.

Bioink that is as alive as you – the next level of bioink

So bioink technically has been around for what seems like forever in history but the innovations nowadays are impressive nonetheless. But now it even goes beyond what is found in nature like tree resin or plant oils and is moving towards a sort of Frankenstein laboratory of creating something that’s alive. We can hear it now, “It’s alive! It’s alive!”

As reported in NUU in April, Israel-based Tel Aviv University researchers have “printed” the world’s first 3D vascularized engineered heart using a patient’s own cells and biological materials – taking bioink to a whole new level. Until now, scientists in regenerative medicine — a field positioned at the crossroads of biology and technology — have been successful in printing only simple tissues without blood vessels.

“This is the first time anyone anywhere has successfully engineered and printed an entire heart replete with cells, blood vessels, ventricles and chambers,” says Prof. Tal Dvir of TAU’s School of Molecular Cell Biology and Biotechnology, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology and Sagol Center for Regenerative Biotechnology, who led the research for the study.

“This heart is made from human cells and patient-specific biological materials. In our process these materials serve as the bioinks, substances made of sugars and proteins that can be used for 3D printing of complex tissue models,” Prof. Dvir says. “People have managed to 3D-print the structure of a heart in the past, but not with cells or with blood vessels. Our results demonstrate the potential of our approach for engineering personalized tissue and organ replacement in the future.”

Another company working on the “It’s Alive” 3D printing of human tissue is Sweden-based Cellink which is using bioink and 3D printing technology to create biomaterial structures with living cells, as reported in NUU in May 2017. Long are the days of waiting on a list for transplants for new body parts or of having to test consumer products on animals, now that you can 3D print them. Cellink is finding a growing interest for its printers in the cosmetic sector for things like new noses and ears, especially in countries like China. The company was doing quite well after going public within 10 months of being founded and having its shares 1070% oversubscribed. With only 20 people in the company, Cellink’s customers are still mainly universities but some big-name cosmetic companies are looking into 3D printing of human tissue as a way to avoid animal testing.

Bottom Line

While bioink may have started thousands of years ago with fire residue and soot on a cave wall, it has evolved using things we never dreamed of and even becoming “alive”. It will be fascinating to see where the future goes with bioinks around the world and what can be accomplished.

Oil-accumulating fungi research could help biofuels production http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/2019/09/15/oil-accumulating-fungi-research-could-help-biofuels-production/ Sun, 15 Sep 2019 13:23:49 +0000 http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/?p=111203

In Germany, mushroom genetics research, conducted by Ruhr-Universität Bochum researchers and others, could help biofuel production. Some species of trichosporonales fungi can store large amounts of lipids in their cells, and are so-called oil-accumulating fungi, which have therefore been increasingly analyzed in recent years as potential producers of biofuels.

Trichosporonales fungi are widespread in the environment and have been isolated in the soil, on rotting plants and on water bodies. Some species are harmful to humans.

A research team led by Privatdozentin Minou Nowrousian from the Department of Molecular and Cellular Botany of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) has now analyzed genes in the genomes of 24 fungi responsible for their sexual development. The research team has now investigated the cross-type genes in 24 species of the order Trichosporonales and thereby discovered fused cross-type loci with previously unknown properties.

Indonesian palm oil industry haunted by EU and looks to biofuel as a solution http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/2019/09/15/indonesian-palm-oil-industry-haunted-by-eu-and-looks-to-biofuel-as-a-solution/ Sun, 15 Sep 2019 13:22:36 +0000 http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/?p=111201

In Indonesia, at a palm oil conference held by the Indonesian Journalists Association, palm oil and biodiesel leaders spoke about how palm oil is facing a price fluctuation issue, especially in the last few months because of policies and regulations from several export destination countries like the United Kingdom and the European Union, but that using palm oil for biofuels could be a solution.

According to Warta Ekonomi, the Indonesian Palm Oil Entrepreneurs Association cited that in April 2019, Indonesia’s palm oil exports decreased by 18% compared to total exports last March. One way to use the palm oil that isn’t being exported is by converting it to biofuel and replace fossil fuel and fossil energy with it.

The development of the national oil palm industry has good prospects because the Government of Indonesia is currently running a biofuel (biodiesel) development program that uses palm oil as its raw material.

Small EU harvest drives rapeseed prices http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/2019/09/15/small-eu-harvest-drives-rapeseed-prices/ Sun, 15 Sep 2019 13:18:36 +0000 http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/?p=111199

In Germany, UFOP reports that whereas the small harvests in the EU and buoyant RME demand from the biodiesel industry sent rapeseed prices in Paris rising, US soybean prices were guided by mixed stimuli.

Paris rapeseed prices have been on a steady rise since the beginning of March 2019. Reaching EUR 351.50 per tonne – the lowest level since June 2018 – on 4 March 2019, they recently closed at EUR 383 per tonne. According to Agrarmarkt Informations-Gesellschaft mbH (AMI), prices were driven by the small EU rapeseed harvest. The trend was also supported by increasing prices for palm oil. Forward prices of rapeseed were also lifted by the sharp rise in demand for biodiesel. At the same time, along with UCOME, which is in demand at all times, rapeseed methyl ester (RME) has been ordered since mid August for incorporation in blends from October onwards to meet winter diesel requirements. Market participants said that, consequently, demand for RME had picked up earlier than usual.

On the other hand, Chicago soybean prices did not show a clear trend. Seldom ever have analysts’ and the USDA’s assessments of soybean plantings been so disparate. Due to massive delays in planting in the US, the volume of the US harvest was still uncertain. Depending on weather conditions and US crop development, prices will rise or decline. The intensifying trade war between the US and China weighs heavily on prices. China has collected an additional 5 per cent punitive tariff on soybean shipments from the US since 1 September 2019. However, the extra tariff is of a more symbolic nature. In fact, its purpose is rather to demonstrate that China has no intention to back down in the trade dispute with the US. This assumption is based on the fact that the Chinese government has already strictly prohibited domestic companies from purchasing US agricultural products, such as soybeans. This means that an agreement in the US-China trade dispute recedes further into the distance. Although soybean prices have declined EUR 18 per tonne since June 2019 to recently EUR 282 per tonne, they were still EUR 20 per tonne above the year-ago level.

MBP Solutions launches new corporate identity http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/2019/09/15/mbp-solutions-launches-new-corporate-identity/ Sun, 15 Sep 2019 13:17:46 +0000 http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/?p=111197

In Switzerland, MBP Solutions, which handles collection, handling, processing, production and application of biological by-products and converts waste to biofuels, biogas, biomethane and other products, celebrated its 20th anniversary and revealed its new, updated corporate identity – developed to support the continuing growth of the business based on turning one industry’s by-product into another industry’s raw material.

MBP Solutions employs over 90 professionals; has offices in nine different countries; sells products in more than 50 countries; and handles over 200,000 tonnes of biological waste every year for a diverse range of clients, from manufacturing industries within food and beverage, biodiesel, oleo-chemical, pharmaceutical, omega-3 concentration and other industries using biological raw material.

Clean fuel and electric vehicle use in Canada can reduce GHGs by over 50 million tons by 2030 http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/2019/09/15/clean-fuel-and-electric-vehicle-use-in-canada-can-reduce-ghgs-by-over-50-million-tons-by-2030/ Sun, 15 Sep 2019 13:16:13 +0000 http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/?p=111195

In Canada, several national clean fuels associations forecast greenhouse gas emissions reductions of over 50 million tonnes (Mt) per year by 2030 through greater production and use of renewable energy in Canada. One of the associations, Advanced Biofuels Canada, estimates that 15 Mt of reductions per year are achievable by 2030 by incorporating modest levels of biofuels and other non-fossil clean fuels into transport fuels.

The associations, Advanced Biofuels Canada (ABFC), Canadian Biogas Association (CBA), Canadian Gas Association (CGA), Electric Mobility Canada (EMC) and Wood Pellet Association of Canada (WPAC), represent a significant part of the spectrum of Canada’s primary clean fuel industries. Estimates of potential emission reductions are based on modelling work for the joint industry –federal government steering committee looking at the competiveness of clean fuel investment in Canada.

The results demonstrate significant annual emissions reduction potential by 2030 from adopting clean and renewable liquid, gaseous, and solid fuels, and from switching to electric vehicle use. ABFC estimates that 15 Mt of reductions per year are achievable by 2030 by incorporating modest levels of biofuels and other non-fossil clean fuels into transport fuels. The CBA and CGA estimate that 14 Mt of reductions are attainable by introducing renewable gases into transportation, building heating, and industrial processes. EMC estimates that 16Mt of GHG reductions are achievable through the electrification of light, medium, and heavy-duty vehicles, including buses. WPAC estimates that 5.5 Mt of reductions can be achieved through fuel switching to wood pellets to provide heat in the residential, commercial, and institution sectors, and from replacing coal with pellets for power generation.

VTT says materials and chemicals the first commodities to be commercialized by carbon reuse http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/2019/09/15/vtt-says-materials-and-chemicals-the-first-commodities-to-be-commercialized-by-carbon-reuse/ Sun, 15 Sep 2019 13:14:40 +0000 http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/?p=111193

In Finland, VTT published a new report called “The Carbon Reuse Economy – Transforming CO2 from a pollutant into a resource” and presents its view on how carbon can be turned from a pollutant into a resource with a favorable impact on climate change.

It is already possible to make food protein from CO2 and emission-free electricity. When, in the future, part of the food needed by humankind will be made in bioreactors, field area will be freed for other uses. VTT has been developing a manufacturing method for proteins based on CO2 and emission-free electricity. It is currently being piloted by the start-up Solar Foods.

CO2 can be converted into different compounds using biotechnical and chemical conversion approaches. Biotechnical routes for CO2 conversion offer potential for higher value products, such as food ingredients, whereas chemical routes are efficient for bulk products, such as fuels and base chemicals. By utilising CO2 for chemicals and materials, it is possible to keep carbon within a cycle for longer compared to fuels.

Impossible Foods to launch products in U.S. grocery stores http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/2019/09/15/impossible-foods-to-launch-products-in-u-s-grocery-stores/ Sun, 15 Sep 2019 13:13:01 +0000 http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/?p=111191

In California, Impossible Foods announced that starting this month, their products will be available at U.S. grocery stores. While they haven’t said at which grocery stores their products will be available, and which products specifically will be available, they added a countdown on their website until September 20th when they will announce where Impossible products will be available for home purchase.

According to their email announcement, “There’s nothing like a home-cooked meal, and starting this month, Impossible is headed to home kitchens to join the fun. That’s right, we’re coming to U.S. grocery stores. Countdown with us, and be the first to know when Impossible comes to your neighborhood.”

They also announced recently that a co-manufacturing collaboration with global food provider OSI Group, is allowing them to significantly increase our production by the end of the year.

Mazda funds Japanese universities for microalgae biofuel research http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/2019/09/15/mazda-funds-japanese-universities-for-microalgae-biofuel-research/ Sun, 15 Sep 2019 13:12:18 +0000 http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/?p=111189

In Japan, Autocar reports that Mazda is working on carbon-neutral biofuel by giving funding to the Tokyo Institute of Technology and Hiroshima University so researchers can look at genome editing and plant physiology, including microalgae specifically for biofuel.

Autocar reports that “Mazda anticipates a gradual transition to biofuel, if that path is taken, with both fuels coexisting for a period until engineered fuel usurps petrol.”

Mazda is also preparing to launch its first electric vehicle as it looks to alternative ways to lower the automobiles carbon footprint.

As reported in The Digest in November 2018, Mazda as well as several other car manufacturers are looking at algae as an alternative fuel for vehicles.

New arrival in biobased baby care, but Amyris isn’t only one turning to skin care http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/2019/09/07/new-arrival-in-biobased-baby-care-but-amyris-isnt-only-one-turning-to-skin-care/ Sat, 07 Sep 2019 21:09:06 +0000 http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/?p=110903

In California,  Amyris has a new baby in town. Babies are booming with about 250 babies born every minute on the planet, and clean and green baby care demand is booming along with it as parents and caregivers are more aware of toxic chemicals and questionable ingredients in cosmetics and skin care. Amyris knows this and is now meeting that demand with their clean baby care brand, Pipette, following on the heels of their Biossance 100% plant-based squalane skincare line that was launched in 2016.

“In response to parents asking for better-performing, safer products for their babies, Amyris conceived Pipette: a new Amyris brand reinventing clean personal care for babies and moms using the fewest possible ingredients from the purest sources,” according to the Amyris press release.

But Amyris isn’t the only one using their R&D and technologies to move from a lab straight into consumer products. Before we go there, let’s start with the new baby in town – Amyris’s new Pipette line.

Pipette Products

First, what’s so special about Amyris’s Pipette baby care products? Similar to their Biossance products, Amyris’s proprietary sugarcane-derived squalene is a key feature of the Pipette products. Squalene used to be derived from sharks, not too ethical of a way, so it now is being sourced via olive oil, but according to Amyris, that is too unstable, which is why Amyris uses Brazilian sugarcane instead.

Ok, so sugarcane – used for ethanol, biochemicals, bioplastics, and a host of other things is now also a source for squalene, a cosmetic and skin care ingredient. Talk about hitting many birds with one stone.

In addition to the ethical and stable squalene ingredient, every product in the Pipette line is EWG Verified Leaping Bunny Approved, dermatologist tested, pediatrician approved, hypoallergenic, nontoxic, vegan, and synthetic fragrance-free. How’s that for covering all the bases?

The line includes seven products: Shampoo & Wash, Lotion, Oil, Wipes and Balm for baby, and Belly Butter and Oil for expecting and postpartum moms. And talk about going straight to consumer – Amyris already has placement in several online stores like buybuyBABY.com, Amazon.com, Walmart.com, and Dermstore.com, as well as in-store exclusively at buybuy Baby stores nationwide. That’s in addition to their own direct to consumer website at Pipettebaby.com of course.

Stakeholder Reactions

“buybuy BABY is thrilled to be the exclusive omni-channel retailer for the launch of Pipette,” said Glen Cary, President of buybuy BABY. “We are the trusted destination for curated best-in-class baby products for new and expectant parents and Pipette’s clean and sustainable personal care products are a fantastic addition to our assortment.”

“Pipette is raising the bar for clean baby care,” stated Caroline Hadfield, President of Pipette. “Our millennial consumers are now becoming parents, and they demand a cleaner, safer option for their babies. Pipette was born from this overwhelming need for gentle, nontoxic products that scientifically work for babies’ skin.”

“Brand partners and supporters of Pipette’s mission and products include dedicated parents, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Justin Baldoni and Tamera Mowry-Housley, who are all passionate about baby products that are free from potentially harmful chemicals. This dynamic trio understands how daunting the sheer volume of information and misinformation can be when it comes to caring for babies and their skin. Huntington-Whiteley, Baldoni & Mowry-Housley will help moms and dads navigate these parenting decisions in a way that is educational and empowering.”

“I’m very pleased to support the Pipette brand mission of giving parents the best-performing and safest choice when it comes to caring for their loved ones,” said brand partner, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. “Pipette is responding to the needs of parents who increasingly refuse to buy products that are harmful to them, their children, and our environment.”

Let’s talk money…

Amyris just presented a few weeks ago about their latest products and proprietary process of engineering organisms (yeast) using renewably-sourced carbon from plants (sugarcane) to make sustainable, custom molecules at the Jefferies 2019 Global Industrials Conference. Check out The Digest’s 2019 Multi-Slide Guide to Amyris’ Latest Products here.

Also in August, as reported in The Digest, Amyris said on a business update call for investors that their revenue plan year-to-date is on track to meet their plan of $150 million for the year. Flavors and fragrances are expected to exceed revenue plan for the year and there has been a great market reaction to Purecane with early successful inroads into innovators, small- and medium enterprises (SMEs), formulators, and global brands each with their own time to revenue profiles; launching direct to consumer in U.S. before year end.

They also told investors that their LAVVAN program is on track to deliver commercial scale up and targets for CBD during first half of 2020. Of course, they also mentioned that Pipette was on track to launch in September and their Clean Beauty segment is on track for delivering around $60 million in sales for the year.

Amyris also raised $34 million in private placement of its common stock and warrants to purchase common stock with accredited investors, as reported in The Digest in April.

Baby’s not alone…

Amyris’s baby brand Pipette is not alone, though as other bio companies have ventured into the cosmetics and skin care game too. Take Pennsylvania’s Renmatix, for example, when they introduced Celltice – its “zero-chemical self-emulsifying active,” built from cellulose and lignin. As reported in The Digest in May, their product is aimed at the clean beauty movement towards petro-free, plant-based ingredients for clean cosmetics with minimalist formulations, seeking sustainable, cruelty-free ingredients that also deliver comparable or superior performance to traditional ingredients. It’s billed as a “a cost-advantaged, high-performing, multi-functional ingredient,” which hits just about all of the high notes. Sounds an awful like Amyris’s Pipette and Biossance brands, doesn’t it?

Another example is Hawaii-based Pacific Biodiesel which is integrating traditional Hawaiian planting practices at their sunflower fields and expanding beyond biodiesel. As reported in The Digest in February 2018, the sunflowers are being converted into cosmetic-grade sunflower oils and food-grade cooking oil, as well as biodiesel. The cosmetic-grade oils are being sold at local spas as part of the Kuleana beauty product line made by Maiden Hawaii Naturals, LLC, which is a subsidiary of Pacific Biodiesel Technologies. They plan on planting coconuts, ulu, chickpeas, and safflower as well this year. As reported in The Digest this April, Pacific Biodiesel also unveiled the island’s first commercial hemp farm and plans on using the high value hemp oil, not for biofuel, but for cosmetics and culinary oils.

Japan-based Euglena is another fascinating company, using microalgae to develop foods and cosmetics as well as conducting research for the production of biofuels. As reported in The Digest in August, Euglena’s sales last year reached $133 million, no small feat, and 99% of it comes from their food and health care sectors, not biofuel.

Bottom Line

There are many others like Amyris, Pacific Biodiesel and Euglena that have pivoted from biofuels to cosmetics and skin care, or even produce them in tandem, and there will probably be more considering how huge those markets are today and forecasted to be in the future.

There are even a larger slew of companies like Global Bioenergies and their bio-isobutene that can be used for fuels and cosmetics, and Versalis which is integrating renewable chemicals into things like cosmetic products, so the range of possibilities is enormous.

So as long as babies continue to be born, and at a staggering rate of 250 babies each minute, there is plenty of potential for biobased companies to expand into new markets.