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bioplasticsMAGAZINE_1206

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Materials American

Materials American industry, Israeli know-how and an old military technology make this possible Virdia is the brainchild of two Israeli scientists, Professor Avraham Baniel and Professor Aharon Eyal, who have together for many years pioneered a number of now standardized extraction processes used in industries worldwide. Prof. A. Baniel has long had his eye on improving a costly but proven method to use concentrated hydrochloric acid (HCl) hydrolysis of biomass as an analytical method to determine the composition of the sugars, lignin and tall oils in ligno-cellulose, which was pioneered over a 100 years ago. The industrial potential of scaling up this technology was proven during World War II, when the Germans pursued alternative sources of energy in anticipation of Allied attacks on their supplies of fossil fuel. They chose a process developed by Nobel Prize Winner Dr. Friedrich Bergius that used concentrated hydrochloric acid (HCl) to make sugars from biomass. Dr. Bergius’s process, although reliable, was not used after the war, as it was uneconomical and highly damaging to the environment. Based on a collaboration spanning decades, scaling up bench-scale processes to industrial levels, this Israeli duo has colluded with a group of American engineers from the traditional sugar industry, led by Robert Jansen, to apply a series of extraction and separation process to the Bergius process, and create a viable, economic and environmentally sound solution to mass produce cellulosic sugars for a price that can revolutionize many industrial markets. The company Virdia evolved since its conception 5 years ago to a US based company Redwood City, California) with a subsidiary in Herzlia/Israel. It is operating a Process Development Unit at its technology center in Danville Virginia as of April 2012. Figure 2: Solid lignin fraction www.virdia.com 24 bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/12] Vol. 7

Polylactic Acid Uhde Inventa-Fischer has expanded its product portfolio to include the innovative stateof-the-art PLAneo ® process. The feedstock for our PLA process is lactic acid, which can be produced from local agricultural products containing starch or sugar. The application range of PLA is similar to that of polymers based on fossil resources as its physical properties can be tailored to meet packaging, textile and other requirements. Think. Invest. Earn. Uhde Inventa-Fischer GmbH Holzhauser Strasse 157–159 13509 Berlin Germany Tel. +49 30 43 567 5 Fax +49 30 43 567 699 Uhde Inventa-Fischer AG Via Innovativa 31 7013 Domat/Ems Switzerland Tel. +41 81 632 63 11 Fax +41 81 632 74 03 marketing@uhde-inventa-fi scher.com www.uhde-inventa-fi scher.com Uhde Inventa-Fischer bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/12] Vol. 7 25

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