Stora Enso, Rennovia ink biobased chemicals development deal

May 11, 2016 |

BD TS 051216 stora rennovia smIn California, Renewable materials company Stora Enso and specialty chemicals company Rennovia Inc. have announced a joint development and license agreement to cooperate on bio-based chemicals development.

Under the terms of the agreement, the two companies will cooperate to develop processes for bio-based chemicals of interest to Stora Enso, employing Rennovia’s high-throughput catalyst discovery infrastructure and process development expertise. Rennovia focuses on the technology development of novel catalysts and processes for the cost advantaged production of chemicals from renewable feedstocks.

As Stora Enso is targeting new markets and developing novel products as it transforms into a renewable materials company, the agreement is a logical step for the company.

Reaction from the stakeholders

“The joint development and technology agreement will accelerate some of the developments Stora Enso is working on and gives us a solid platform to move further in building a portfolio of sustainable bio-based solutions for our customers. We are looking forward to collaborating with Rennovia,” said Juan Carlos Bueno, Executive Vice President, Biomaterials division at Stora Enso.

“This agreement underscores the broad applicability of Rennovia’s catalytic technologies to the production of a wide range of bio-based chemical products,” said Rennovia CEO Robert Wedinger. “We are delighted that Stora Enso recognizes our catalyst and process technologies as an efficient, cost-effective platform for producing bio-based chemicals.”

The Digest’s Take

We’ve been waiting for Stora Enso to take a major step forward since the launch of their biorefinery in Finland and the deal to acquire Virdia as a cellulosic sugars technology.

At the same time, everyone’s been waiting for Rennovia to announce the next chapter in their evolutionm after signing and securing ADM as a major strategic partner. Here is a source of cellulosic sugars and a strategic with big ambitions in biobased materials.

Chemicals to watch out for? In Rennovia’s portfolio are biobased glucaric acid, adipic acid, 1,6-hexanediol, hexamethylenediamine (HMD), and other important building blocks for a wide range of functional materials. Rennovia has successfully combined its bio-based AA and HMD to produce 100% renewable nylon-6,6. For our money, we think about this as a step towards establishing HMD as a platform.

That probably won’t frighten established players like INVISTA and Solvay one heck of a lot, for now. But we wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a drop or two of sweat on the Big Chem brow as this pairing of upstarts get a move on.

The Stora Enso and Rennovia backstories

Doing More with Less: The Digest’s 8-Slide Guide to Stora Enso

Disruptive renewable chemicals: The Digest’s 2016 8-Slide Guide to Rennovia

Rennovia: Biofuels Digest’s 2015 5-Minute Guide

Stora Enso, Rennovia in the News

Stora Enso acquires Virdia in (up to) $62M deal

Johnson Matthey Process Technologies, Rennovia start-up mini-Plant for Bio-Based Glucaric Acid

Metso is supplying a Lignoboost plant to Stora Enso’s new biorefinery




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