Company to use sugarcane-based ethanol

By Susanne Retka Schill
Web exclusive posted July 31, 2008 at 5:08 p.m. CST

Industrial Biotechnology Corp. has formed a subsidiary, Renewable Chemicals Corp., to produce chemicals utilizing sugarcane-based ethanol. The Sarasota, Fla., company intends to produce renewable chemicals for the packaging, energy, agricultural, pesticide, materials and polymer industries using Industrial Biotechnology's ALCHEMx Production Platform. This proprietary process integrates technologies, manufacturing methods, and distribution to produce eco-efficient and cost effective chemicals utilizing renewable resources as an alternative to petroleum.

Renewable Chemicals will use the ALCHEMx Production Platforms to convert sugarcane based ethanol to ethylene, which will then be converted into other chemicals, such as ethylene oxide, low density and high density polyethylene, styrene, and polystyrene. Existing manufacturing infrastructure can be used to produce these same chemicals from petroleum based ethylene.

"There is tremendous market interest for plastics derived from renewable, sustainable sources," Industrial Biotechnology Chief Executive Officer Andy Badolato said. "Major retailers, consumer product companies, and the packaging and plastics industries are working together to implement solutions to lessen our dependence upon foreign oil and to reduce global warming. The utilization of sugarcane ethanol as a chemical feedstock is the next logical step, after its use as an alternative fuel."

Industrial Biotechnology imports and distributes Brazilian sugarcane ethanol through its subsidiary, Renewable Fuels of America Corp. The supplier for the joint venture is Cosan SA, the world's largest sugarcane ethanol provider.