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Biomethane with a side of bioplastics - NGen and Genecis enter into collaboration

Tuesday, 10 August 2021

Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen) and Genecis Bioindustries have entered into a partnership to commercialise a biotechnology solution employing Anaerobic Digestion (AD) which can turn food waste into sustainable plastic.

The industry-led community group NGen, which deals with advanced manufacturing projects have announced funding for the project to the value of four million Euro.

The Canadian waste solutions company Genecis will incorporate a demonstration unit with an AD plant which will convert waste feedstock into polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) bioplastics, a green alternative to plastics from fossil fuels. The resulting PHA is expected to be used as plastic replacements for packaging and medical products amongst other things.

The demonstration plan will be located in Drumbo, Ontario a site belonging to StormFisher, a partner of Genecis in developing and operating organic waste and clean energy solutions.

“This project highlights NGen’s focus on transformative advanced manufacturing solutions,” 

said Jayson Myers, CEO of NGen.

“The Genecis project uses advanced manufacturing technologies to fundamentally transform an existing process, providing Canadian manufacturers with access to high-value materials, creating a competitive advantage in the green economy, and developing a waste solution that addresses a global environmental issue.”

Brandon Moffat, owner and vice-president of StormFisher, commented: 

“StormFisher is delighted to partner with Genecis to implement this ground-breaking technology.

“Upcycling food and organic waste to provide valuable products like RNG (Renewable Natural Gas) and now PHA resins demonstrates the importance and effectiveness of circular projects like these.

“We have partnered with earlier stage cleantech companies like Genecis in the past and have found it very rewarding for us. As cleantech entrepreneurs ourselves, we had historically found that it can be very challenging finding an industrial partner to allow for companies to scale, so we’re glad that we can facilitate this demonstration project.”

Anaerobic digestion, biomethane and byproducts

While biogas in not explicitly mentioned, biogas (the precursor to biomethane) is typically the main product of the AD process. The left over materials (digestate) can also be a valuable by-product, often as an organic fertiliser or in the case above, a fossil-plastic replacement.

This is an important development for biomethane investors - costs (both production and capital) for biomethane can be relatively high, and additional income streams from byproducts, waste management, as well as any government support, enhance the prospect of a successful final investment decision.

Sources

Bioenergy Insight

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