Praj pivots to Bio-Prism – from transport fuels to renewable chem and materials

July 13, 2020 |

A little over 47 years ago, Pink Floyd released their iconic “Dark Side of the Moon” prism-designed album which became one of the best-selling albums worldwide and sent the band into international fame. There was much speculation on the meaning behind the prism, but one thing is clear today – Praj Industries has chosen wisely by naming their new foray into the global renewable chemicals and materials industry as part of their newly launched Bio-Prism portfolio.

Praj Industries was ranked #1 of the Top 100 Best Places to Work in the Advanced Bioeconomy, as voted by the Digest’s readers back in March, so we weren’t surprised when they told us at ABLC last week that some big news was coming our way about their latest pivot.

In today’s Digest, what is this Bio-Prism portfolio exactly, what does this mean for Praj, how this changes their strategy, how they adapt and pivot to changing market conditions, and more.

Biochem, bioplastic, bio-everything

Speaking at last week’s Advanced Bioeconomy Leadership Conference (ABLC) 2020 Digital, Dr. Pramod Chaudhari, Executive Chairman, announced Praj’s foray into the global Renewable Chemicals and Materials (RCM) industry.

Praj’ strategy has been to expand its business horizons leveraging its innovative, technology solutions in Bioeconomy. As a part of its newly launched Bio-Prism portfolio, Praj is developing technologies to produce bio-based Renewable Chemicals and Materials (RCM) as sustainable alternatives to products made from fossil resources. On the back of a formidable track record of its Bio-Mobility platform for renewable transportation fuel globally, Praj is now making inroads into the RCM industry with its newly launched Bio-Prism portfolio.

Praj’s Bio-Prism portfolio comprises variety of bio-industrial products, including bio plastics as a priority, along with cellulose-lignin refinery products and specialty products. These products have applications in industry sectors such as automotive, packaging, furnishing, construction, agriculture and food. Over a short to medium term, Praj plans to commit substantial resources for technology and application development with its strategic partners.

Speaking on the side-lines of ABLC 2020 Digital, Dr. Pramod Chaudhari, said, “Praj pole-vaults into a league of select companies worldwide that are configuring the RCM landscape, with the launch of the Bio-Prism portfolio. Together with Bio-mobility, Bio-Prism becomes another mainstay of Praj’s contribution to the global Bio economy. Over past 3 decades we have developed deep insights and expertise at our R&D facility, Praj Matrix, in processing diverse range of bio-based feedstocks. Our stride in RCM is the result of exclusive work in molecular biology, microbiology, fermentation and chemical synthesis.” Depicting RCM project as “Nature Reimagined – The Promise of Sustainability”, he further added that Praj is open to exploring newer business models with strategic partners.

Everyone needs a friend

As the Toy Story song goes, “You’ve got a friend in me, You’ve got a friend in me” and it’s a great reminder, especially these days, that we need friends and partners to get us through the worst of days. Praj has that covered.

To bring this vision into reality, Praj has technical collaborations with renowned global organizations. Praj has already entered into an overarching MoU with National Chemical Laboratory (NCL) for jointly working on promising project opportunities in RCM space. Praj brings to the table its expertise in technology development, process optimization, integration and scale-up. Praj has constituted an expert panel of advisors around the globe to help draw-up a strategic blue print and to guide in progression of RCM program.

In June, as reported in The Digest, Praj and Lygos signed a Memorandum of Understanding to co-develop Lygos’s proprietary yeast for the production of lactic acid. As part of this MOU, Lygos will provide its proprietary yeast platform to Praj for jointly developing into various solutions for commercial applications. Praj has already developed and offers bacterial fermentation technology to produce lactic acid and downstream products from sugary feedstock. Lactic acid is also used in food and beverages, in cleaning agents as well as in the electronic industry. The global lactic acid market size is estimated at around $1 billion (2019).

Praj will assemble other segments of technology backed up by its expertise in process development, optimization, design scale-up and will further integrate lactic acid as a source material in to making Bioplastic, called as Polylactic Acid (PLA).

In May, as reported in The Digest, Sekab E-technology AB and Praj Industries signed a collaboration agreement in order to upgrade and commercialize technology solutions geared towards the production of sustainable biofuels and chemical products. Praj industries will through this collaboration help to scale up, integrate and optimize the unique CelluAPP technology platform developed by Sekab. The CelluAPP being the latest in coniferous residue conversion into biofuels, green chemicals and bio-based materials.

A better world

Praj is in constant pursuit of solutions that help improve profitability of customers while optimizing consumption of resources such as water, energy, etc. while reducing carbon footprint. Praj’s vision is aligned with agenda for sustainable development, adopted by all United Nations Member States that provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. Circular economy augurs with Praj’s focus on contributing to economy, environment and society and boosting agricultural sector and farmer livelihood.

The hope is that the Bio-Mobility promotes the use of renewable resources to produce carbon neutral transportation fuel across all modes of mobility (surface, air and water).

And it’s a company that knows pivoting – when COVID-19 hit and hand sanitizer shortages began, Praj quickly responded by providing open and free access to its proprietary HWS manufacturing technology. Praj Matrix, the R&D center approved by the Dept. of Scientific and Industrial Research, GOI, has developed a unique process technology. The technology, that helps formulate alcohol into high quality sanitizers, was developed in a short span and conforms to WHO guidelines.


Over the past three decades, Praj has focused on the environment, energy, and agri-process industry, with over 750 customer references spanning 75 countries across 5 continents. Bio-mobility and Bio-Prism are the mainstays of Praj’s contribution to the global Bioeconomy. The Bio-Mobility portfolio offers technology solutions globally to produce renewable transportation fuel, thus ensuring sustainable decarbonization through circular bioeconomy. The company’s Bio-Prism portfolio comprises of renewable chemicals and materials solutions, promises sustainability, while reimagining nature.

Praj Matrix, the state-of-the-art R&D facility, forms the backbone for the company’s endeavors towards a clean energy-based Bioeconomy.

Praj’s diverse portfolio comprises Bio-energy plants, Zero liquid discharge plants, Critical process equipment & skids for oil & gas industries, Breweries and High purity water systems.

Bottom Line

To put this story into context, the chemical industry worldwide is today estimated at US $ 25 trillion annually. Renewable chemicals have a potential to replace a majority of chemicals that are currently sourced using fossil resources. According to Praj, the RCM industry worldwide is estimated to have reached US $ 65 billion and over a decade, is likely to cross around US $200 billion at a CAGR of 11-12%. The Asian market is presently pegged at around US $ 25 billion.

Those are no small amounts, and there certainly is reason to believe that this pivot from Praj will prove beneficial in many ways. Check out one of their slide guides, “India’s Rising Prowess in Bioeconomy: The Digest’s 2019 Multi-Slide Guide to Praj’s Perpective from India” here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags: ,

Category: Top Stories

Thank you for visting the Digest.