Three major process technology and equipment specialists, Futerro, Sulzer and TechnipFMC, have formed the PLAnet™ initiative in equal partnership to promote the production of sustainable plastics made of Poly-Lactic Acid (PLA). The strategic collaboration will support manufacturers interested in entering the bioplastic market by delivering integrated PLA technology packages.
PLA is a versatile bio-based and biodegradable polymer that can replace petroleum-based plastics in a wide range of applications. Different stages are required to convert sugars from crops into lactic acid, lactide and subsequently PLA.
Futerro, a well-established technology provider for lactic acid and lactide production, and Sulzer Chemtech, a leading specialist in separation and mixing technologies have over 25 years of experience in lactic acid and PLA’s related processes. Together they have further shown their commitment to facilitate the production of bioplastics by establishing a partnership with TechnipFMC, a leading global EPC contractor with experience in technology development and licensing with fast growing activities in bioplastics and green chemicals.
The agreement between the three parties offers to agricultural, chemical and fiber industries, a fully integrated package addressing the whole PLA value chain. In this way, customers can benefit from direct access to state-of-the-art, customizable solutions for all the aspects and stages of PLA production. PLAnet™ offers the possibility of a “one-stop shop” for customers interested in PLA production by providing a single point of contact and responsibility.
In particular, PLAnet™ supports the construction of plants of any size, including PLA facilities with a throughput of up to 100’000 tons per year – that permit manufacturers to save both capital expenditures (CAPEX) and operating expenses (OPEX) by providing for integrated and optimized plant section design.
Within the PLAnet™ partnership, Futerro’s proprietary technology focuses on the production of lactic acid and raw lactide from sugar or, directly, from biomass; Sulzer contributes the process for the purification of lactide and its polymerization to obtain PLA while TechnipFMC acts as technology integrator to deliver seamless and optimized Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) packages.
The promotion of greener alternatives to traditional plastics needs to be backed by suitable technologies that enable the industry to produce high-quality bioplastics in an efficient manner. We can make this possible via the PLAnet™ partnership between Futerro, Sulzer and TechnipFMC by leveraging our world-leading technologies, expertise and skills for the entire PLA value chain.
Snam and Seat join forces on biomethane solutions
Natural gas conglomerate Snam announced that it has signed a partnership with car manufacturer Seat to promote the use of compressed natural gas (CNG) and renewable gas (biomethane) for sustainable mobility.
The agreement will see both companies explore business and commercial development opportunities that encourage the use of gas and biogas stations, as well as promote the identification of relevant technologies.
“The agreement with Snam enables us to take steps to democratising CNG. Italy is the leading market in the use of this energy and represents 55% of the sale of vehicles powered with this fuel in Europe this year,” said Seat president Luca de Meo.
“For Seat, one out of every five vehicles sold in Italy uses CNG. With this agreement we aim to further enhance the development of compressed natural gas in Italy and export this success case to other countries.”
Seat and Snam will also collaborate in developing mobility services and creating new products, including the technological development of renewable gas biomethane.
“This partnership will strengthen the development of natural gas and biomethane-powered sustainable mobility, both in Italy and across Europe, combining Snam’s innovative infrastructure development, and SEAT’s expertise in rolling out new sustainable models,” said Snam CEO Marco Alverà.
“We believe that natural gas is the most immediate solution to improving air quality in our cities, in addition to having environmental sustainability, performance and economic advantages. The rapid spread of renewable gas has highlighted this. Sustainable mobility is one of the key areas of focus for our 200 million euro investment plan in energy transition businesses.”
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