American Process and MYBiomass sign agreement for production of nanocellulose for oil palm residues

Renewable materials company American Process (AP) and Malaysian MYBiomass will work together to develop technology to produce nanocellulose and cellulosic sugars from oil palm empty fruit-bunches (EFBs).

The companies signed a joint-development work agreement (JDA) for production of nanocellulose and cellulosic sugars from EFBs into material as enhancing additives in textile, paper, and automotive parts amongst others.

The JDA is funded by MYBiomass and harnesses MYBiomass' strength in oil palm biomass supply, technology adaptation, market development, and combines this with AP's technical and material development expertise.

MYBiomass's goal is to be a pioneer in setting up commercial biorefineries with potential participation from technology providers, off-takers and investors.

This is in-line with the Malaysian Biomass Initiative (MBI) as it addresses the potential of moving up the value-chain, promotes sustainable feedstock supply, and shifts focus to higher-value downstream production.

According to MYBiomass's CEO, R. Puvaneswari: "The biomass potential is huge but remains largely untapped. As an innovative business venture, MYBiomass uses an inclusive 360° public-private business model - bringing feedstock, technology, and market players to bridge supply-chain gaps, and manage risks involved, thus developing a sustainable ecosystem for biorefineries.

“We are glad to partner with an innovative and capable company like AP to support the national vision of being a regional green chemicals and materials hub. MYBiomass will work closely with downstream partners for product applications and move towards the establishment of the commercial Biorefinery," she added.

AP's CEO, Theodora Retsina, said nanocellulose made from EFBs can add value to many established supply chains, including those targeted in the JDA.

“MYBiomass brings to this partnership innovative thinking to elevate the value created from Malaysia's natural resources and the integration with partners along the entire supply chain to consumer products. API has developed a suite of nanocellulose products including hydrophilic and hydrophobic varieties. Our Bioplus production process is robust, flexible, low cost and can virtually use any biomass as feedstock," Retsina said.

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