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Comment Sustainability

Global Bioenergies starts up production of bio-based isobutene

By Mary Page Bailey |

Global Bioenergies (Evry, France) announced the startup of its bio-based isobutene production unit in Pomacle, France. Pomacle is at the heart of a new and fully French renewable isododecane production chain. Its commercial launch will take place under the Isonaturane 12 brand at In-Cosmetics in Paris in early April. The Company is accelerating its scale-up trajectory and reaffirming its ambitions in aviation biofuels.

The Company’s first commercial unit, located on the ARD site in Pomacle-Bazancourt, near Reims, has begun production on schedule. The first batches of biosourced isobutene have been manufactured at this unit in March 2022.

This new and fully French production chain, using raw materials sourced locally, was established thanks to developments in the manufacturing process, which now relies on subcontractors both upstream (industrial fermentation) and downstream (green chemistry).

The success of the unit’s start-up without any major difficulties means that the scale-up schedule can be accelerated: the Company now expects to reach full capacity by the end of 2022, rather than over 18 months as initially projected. That will take the unit’s isobutene annual production capacity to 100 tons. The isobutene will then be converted into isododecane for the make-up ingredients market.

The scale-up to 1,000 tons, planned for late 2024 or early 2025, is starting to look like a realistic prospect. The aim will be to target the broader dermo-cosmetics and hair care markets. That will put Global Bioenergies in a strong position to target the much larger aviation biofuels market by 2026 or 2027. Using the ingredient in this sector will bring a significant environmental impact (CO2 reductions), while at the same time helping reduce Europe’s energy dependency.

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