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Converting woody biomass to intermediates allows carbon-negative products

By Scott Jenkins |

Construction has begun on a market demonstration facility for manufacturing chloromethyl furfural (CMF) and hydrothermal carbon (HTC) from a variety of waste biomass feedstocks. With subsequent chemical transformation, these flexible intermediates can be converted into final products, such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET) packaging and carbon black, that are carbon-negative (net removal of CO2 from the atmosphere), according to an ISO-compliant third-party lifecycle analysis (LCA). The new market demonstration facility, being built by Origin Materials (West Sacramento, Calif.; www.originmaterials.com) in Sarnia, Ont., will eventually consume 25,000 tons per year of feedstock. It is expected to be completed at the end of 2022. Origin is also planning a world-scale commercial facility to be completed in 2025. “Many companies have made ‘net-zero’ carbon commitments without fully appreciating the carbon footprint of the materials from which their products are made,” explains John Bissell, co-founder and CEO of Origin Materials. “This unique platform technology allows a pathway for a range of carbon-negative final products.” The process works by feeding woodchips or other biomass, such as pulp waste, rice hulls, or cardboard,…
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