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From By-Product to Biorefinery: Case Study on Success of CelluComp

Posted on 12/09/2016

Creating sustainable household materials from vegetables

CelluComp is breaking ground across Europe producing material based on the byproducts of vegetables.

CelluComp is breaking ground – not only in Scotland, but across Europe – with the inception of its first biorefinery plant to produce material based on the by-products of vegetables.

CelluComp uses these by-products to create a sustainable material used in household materials such as paint. It’s a win-win for the food and chemicals industries, providing a more environmentally conscious option for consumers.Given the company’s legacy in Scotland of research and development, and now manufacturing, CelluComp has chosen Fife as the location for its plant − the first of its kind in Europe − dedicated to the production of its innovative cellulose-based product Curran®.

The plant, which opened in March 2015, marks the beginning of scaling up commercial production of Curran®, which both enhances its end products and the green credentials of everyday household chemical products. Supporting Scotland’s National PlanThe opening of the CelluComp plant is progress against Scotland’s National Plan for Industrial Biotechnology, which seeks to establish Scotland as a world leader in industrial biotechnology (IB) and biorefining, an industry already estimated to be worth nearly £200m to the Scottish economy.

Through IB and biorefining, there is increased potential for Scottish companies to build on existing expertise in order to improve the competitiveness and sustainability of many industries. “Scotland’s vision for industrial biotechnology, and biorefining in particular, is in line with CelluComp’s objectives, and we are already seeing dividends through our growing export opportunities of Curran®,” said Christian Kemp-Griffin, CEO of CelluComp

Significant economic benefits could be realised within forestry, timber and agricultural industries, as well as across the supply chain. CelluComp is one such company which had the vision to recognise the impact that the production of bio-based products could have for Scotland and is a key player in Scotland’s industrial biotechnology industry.“Scotland’s vision for industrial biotechnology, and biorefining in particular, is in line with CelluComp’s objectives, and we are already seeing dividends through our growing export opportunities of Curran®,” continued Kemp-Griffin.

“Our hope is that consumers will soon make the conscious decision to choose paints and coatings that have the Curran® seal, knowing that it is the more environmentally and carbon-efficient option and one that further supports Scottish industry and jobs. We couldn’t have made it this far without partners such as Scottish Enterprise, and we look forward to broadening our offer even further.”

 

Sustainable manufacturing in action

In addition to strengthening the products in which the Curran® technology is applied, CelluComp is contributing to sustainable manufacturing processes by using materials otherwise discarded by the food industry.Compared to other existing materials used as rheology additives, Curran® has a low carbon footprint, uses fewer fossil fuel based chemicals and is emission free. Scaling up and exporting from Scotland.

Scotland’s natural resources, supportive IB and chemical sciences communities, together with strong government support mark it out as a potential world leader in the industry.Commenting on the growth opportunities from operating in Scotland, Christian adds, “Our company vision is ‘Material change for good’. With the natural resources we have in Scotland, coupled with the commitment made by the Scottish Government to support the growth of the industry, particularly around innovation, R&D, knowledge transfer and funding, Scotland is on the cusp of a real step change.“The applicability of the Curran® technology has already garnered interest in growing production in foreign markets. Opening our new facility and scaling up the manufacturing levels of Curran® in Scotland positions us to be part of the country’s success and provides a platform for our global exporting ambitions.”