Sweetwater Energy, Inc., a Rochester NY-based renewable bio-products producer, has finalized a licensing and joint technology development agreement with the Finnish company MetGen Oy. Cooperation will allow the development of a full range of high value lignin-based products including resins and adhesives, foams and composites and bio-based chemicals and polymers to meet the growing needs of a fast changing world.
MetGen is a pioneer in lignocellulosic industrial enzymes and renewable chemicals. The license is for MetGen’s LIGNOTM technology platform which facilitates the enzymatic break down of Sweetwater’s ultra-clean lignin into its fundamental component parts. Sweetwater and MetGen will carry out the commercialization of both technology platforms at Sweetwater’s commercial facility in Rochester NY and will roll the technology out to facilities world-wide.
“By introducing highly profitable products produced from Sweetwater’s Ultra-ligninTM, we are advancing the global bioeconomy by economically competing directly with products from the petrochemical industry. MetGen’s LIGNOTM technology will allow us to create high quality, low cost products that unlock the true value of the lignin. The increased revenues from our high value lignin will also allow us to price wood-based cellulosic sugars at well below corn sugar for the first time in history. Cellulosic sugars can be used as renewable non-food resources for biochemical and biofuel industries” said Arunas Chesonis, Sweetwater’s Chairman and CEO.
MetGen’s CEO Alex Michine said “Over the past years MetGen has accumulated extensive experience on applying enzymes in industrial biorefineries. In this work, we have recognized how important it is to match the proper technologies throughout the value-chain. This is why we are excited about the pairing of Sweetwater’s Sunburst technology with our LIGNOTM platform. Every processing step and every fraction of the raw material counts when creating renewable –and affordable – chemicals and materials out of lignocellulosic biomass.”
For more information, please contact:
Alex Michine, CEO, MetGen Oy
About MetGen Oy
MetGen designs and markets novel enzymatic solutions for the most challenging of industrial conditions to address our customer’s specific challenges. MetGen was founded in 2008 and is based in Kaarina, Finland. MetGen’s enzymes – MetZyme® – are industrial, highly-active, natural catalysts that accelerate chemical reactions and company uses advances in genetic engineering and microbiology to adapt enzymes to harsh industrial conditions and to handle a variety of lignocellulosic substrates. MetGen aims to be a widely recognized supplier of industrial enzymes, significantly contributing to the economics and sustainability of process industries such as pulp & paper, biofuels and biochemicals. MetGen’s competitive advantage is in tailoring or adapting enzymes to meet customer’s specific needs.
About Sweetwater Energy Ltd.
Sweetwater Energy is a Rochester, NY-based company that has developed a unique and patented technology for producing low-cost sugars and clean lignin fiber from multiple non-food plant materials to help meet the modern world’s increasing demand for biochemicals, bioplastics and biofuels. Begun in 2009 in the Rochester Institute of Technology incubator, the company now has a comprehensive intellectual property portfolio of issued and pending patents around the modular approach to produce sugars and clean lignin that are both less expensive and substantially more favorable for the environment than competing products available today from petroleum and food crops.
The LIGNOTM field of application has been expanded to a wider pH range, with alkaliphilic enzymes that can effectively function at a pH up to 11. This means that they function at a pH where lignin is fully soluble, with an added benefit of outstanding thermo-tolerance. These advances allow the rapid production of smaller, more active and uniform aromatics. This fractionation of lignin suddenly enables drop-in solutions in coatings, plasticizers, polyurethanes, binders and fuels that have yet to be fully realized with existing crude lignin.