Global Bioenergies has announced having received a payment of €2.2 million for the OPTISOCHEM project supported bytheBio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI-JU) the public-private sector partnership between the European Union and the Bio-Based Industries Consortium(BIC) under the European Horizon 2020 programme. Global Bioenergies has successfully converted sugarsfrom wheat straw into bio-isobuteneat demo plant scale: Clariant, a partner on the supply side of the consortium, has used its Sunliquid®technology to produce sugar-rich hydrolysatesfrom wheat straw, which were then converted intoisobutene in Global Bioenergies’demo plantlocated in Leuna, Germany.

This isobutene is then itself dedicatedto be converted by chemistry specialist INEOS, also a member of the OPTISOCHEM project, into polymers and oligomers that can be used in any number of high-performance applications, particularly in cosmetics.On the 26thofFebruary, members of the OPTISOCHEM project presented activities from the first term of the project to independent experts appointed by the BBI-JU. Further to the internal validation procedure set up by the BBI-JU, the consortiumhas just received the sum of €3.3 million, of which €2.2 million for Global Bioenergies.

Bernard Chaud, Head of Industrial Strategy at Global Bioenergies, said: “Concurrently with our work on traditional sugar sources (sucrose or glucose from sugar beet, sugar cane or starch), we have successfully adapted our bio-sourced isobutene production process to the use of so-called “advanced”sources of sugar both economically attractive and presenting a positive environmental profile. In this OPTISOCHEM project,for instance, the sugar comes from straw. In two other projects (REWOFUEL and SWEETWOODS) we are adapting our micro-organisms to sugars from soft and hard woods. These advanced sugars are mostly composedof glucose but they also contain variable proportions of secondary sugars (xylose, mannose and arabinose in particular) along with impurities that are knownto inhibit the fermentation process. Adaptation work consists in “teaching” our isobutene-producing micro-organisms to convert all sugars whilst dealing with impurities.

Marc Delcourt, CEO of Global Bioenergies, concluded: “Derivatives of isobutene are playing an increasingly significant role in the field of cosmetics, which is improving its index ofnaturalness year after year. Bio-isobutene will help the cosmetics industry to further increase the naturalness of its products by providing access to bio-sourced products featuring key functionalities. Additionally, isobutene derivatives have the potential to play a major role in the transition towards more environmentally friendly road and air travel.


Global Bioenergies is the only company in the world to have developed a conversion process for renewable resources (residual sugars, agricultural and forestry waste) into isobutene, one of the petrochemical building blocks that can be converted into ingredients for cosmetics, petrol, kerosene, LPG and plastics. Global Bioenergies continues to improve the performance of its process, conducts trials on its demo plant in Germany and is preparing the first full-sized plant in a Joint‐Venture with CristalUnion.