Over the past 10 years, Origin Materials has developed a platform for turning the carbon found in biomass into useful materials, while eliminating the need for fossil resources and capturing carbon in the process. The science has steadily advanced, from initial proof of concept to a commercial-demonstration scale facility pilot demonstration.
The Origin platform converts C-6 cellulose into building-block chemicals, with almost zero carbon loss. While their feedstock is sustainably harvested wood, agricultural waste, wood waste, and even old cardboard may be used. Following a chemo-catalytic step, the majority of the output is the versatile furan CMF (chloromethyl furfural), plus HTC (hydrothermal carbon), an equally versatile resin.
Initial applications include 100% plant-based PET, which is made possible by converting CMF into para-xylene. HTC is being developed for applications in several markets including tire filler, carbon black, agriculture, and activated carbon.
About the Speaker
Tanja Gruber joined Origin Materials in December 2021 with over 20 years of experience in academia and the biochemical industry. As VP of R&D, Tanja is responsible for the overall research and development of Origin Materials’ technology. She has a multidisciplinary background in biochemistry, molecular biology, chemical engineering, and microbiology with expertise in enzyme engineering and production. Prior to Origin, Tanja led R&D teams and projects at DuPont from early stage to development in diverse topics including engineering enzymes for teeth whitening, enzymatic production of dietary fibers, and new probiotics for animal nutrition.
About the Series
The Joseph Priestley Society (JPS) promotes a deeper understanding of science, technology, and industry, with an emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurship. Speakers are leaders from a wide variety of large and small chemical companies and the financial, consulting, and academic communities.
Header image: GIZ Bush Control and Biomass Utilisation Project, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
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