Why is Global Bioenergies moving back to First-Generation Biofuels?

23/07/2015 - 3 minutes

Second-generation biofuels have solved many problems caused by their predecessors, first-generation biofuels. The French synthetic biology company Global Bioenergies just announced that it has adapted its gaz-producing process to sucrose, a first-generation biofuel. Why would it make this step backwards?

Global Bioenergies is one of the leading European industrial Biotech companies. It wants to replace fossil oil with a biosourced process that converts biomass to isobutene, one of the most important petrochemical building blocks that can be converted into fuels, plastics, organic glass and elastomers. It signed big deals with car-manufacturer Audi, chemical company Arkema, and the leading French sugar manufacturer Cristal Union. The company has a market cap worth €120M and counts almost 70 employees based in Evry next to Paris.

In November of 2014, it announced the first industrial production of Isobutene, meaning it successfully climbed up the ladder, starting as a mere lab and moved to a bigger scale after obtaining proof of concept in 2009. The production site was at ARD, a subsidiary of Cristal Union.

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