Italian biotechnology company Bio-On and Spanish cooperative Sociedad Cooperativa General Agropecuaria (ACOR) have agreed to study the feasibility of an industrial-scale production plant for polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) bioplastics based on Bio-On's proprietary technology and using sugar beet waste, co- and by-products as feedstock.
Headquartered in Valladolid, Spain, ACOR produces and markets sugar, food oils, biodiesel, various products for animal feed.
As part of the 17 Dec agreement, the two companies will investigate the feasibility of establishing an industrial plant in Spain, at ACOR's production site in the town of Olmedo, 150km north of Madrid.
The site has been selected to benefit from synergies and infrastructure already in place for the sugar factory. The production capacity of the plant will be decided at a later stage of the project.
"[The project] puts in its centre the valorisation of our sugar beets as raw materials of an innovative green process without interfering with the sugar production,” explained Carlos Rico Mateo, president of ACOR.
As part of the agreement, ACOR will have the exclusive right to use Bio-On's technology in Spain and Portugal.
Bio-on's PHAs linear polyesters are produced through bacterial fermentation of sugar and are 100% natural and biodegradable.