Kemira and DuPont Link on Biomaterials

05.01.2021 - Kemira and DuPont Nutrition and Biosciences have joined forces to develop and commercialize new, tailored biomaterials and bio-based chemicals based on DuPont’s biotechnology platform, which is at the advanced pilot stage and ready to be scaled up globally.

Under the terms of the exclusive collaboration, Kemira will gain access to DuPont’s unique engineered polysaccharide platform, which enables the production of a variety of biomaterials that can be used to enhance sustainability, bio-based content and biodegradability across different product lines and applications.

Kemira’s role will be to provide the application development expertise and necessary market access to leverage the technology’s full potential in its core markets that include paper and board, water treatment and oil & gas.

The Finnish firm will be the exclusive provider of the new biomaterials to its core markets, while DuPont will continue to develop and commercialize the platform for other applications in its own target markets.

Using plant-based sugars as raw materials and DuPont’s proprietary enzymes catalyst for the reaction, the technology allows the controlled enzymatic polymerization of sucrose into glucose polymers – or polysaccharides. This approach is said to enable the specific and designed synthesis of nature-identical polysaccharides with high purity, controlled structural material properties and morphologies.

DuPont added that its enzymatic polymerization-based product portfolio is readily biodegradable and supports the recycling or re-pulping of various paper and pulp-based material streams, for example in packaging end-uses. It noted that for some applications these biodegradable products avoid the problem of microplastic formation, reducing the impact of uncontrolled material leakage into the environment.

“This new technology will transform industrial products, providing sustainable material options for a range of important end-use markets,” said Christian Lenges, venture director for biomaterials at DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences. “We are thrilled to be entering the development and commercialization phase with Kemira, and to provide access to a range of new biomaterials which are scalable on a global level, renewable and even higher-performing compared to traditional materials.”

Antti Matula, senior vice president, global product lines & business development for Kemira Pulp & Paper, added that sustainability is one of the main drivers of Kemira’s long-term growth with a goal of reaching bio-based revenue of more than €500 million by 2030.

Author: Elaine Burridge, Freelance Journalist