The leap from fossils to renewable industry lies in polymers
Betulium offers a sustainable circular economy solution to the manufacture of industrial polymers: now industries can use polymers from agricultural waste as an adhesive and a thickening agent. Since agricultural waste is produced everywhere, polymers can also be produced anywhere.
Many areas of industry use a variety of polymers, for example to regulate the viscosity of products as an adhesive or as a component in composite structures. Most polymers in use are made from synthetic oil and are not biodegradable. Many bio-based polymers are made of materials that could otherwise be eaten. Globally, the manufacture of polymers is a market worth billions of euros.
Solution: replacement for synthetic polymers from agricultural side streams
With Betulium’s technology, it is possible to produce the desired polymer structures from agricultural side streams, for example from the manufacture of potato starch or sugar. Material that was previously classified as waste or fodder can be refined into fine microfibres with properties equivalent to many technical polymers. Most potential customers are in the paper industry, in oil drilling, companies producing composite products, and manufacturers of paints, construction materials, home detergents and cosmetics.
Revenue model and benefits for Betulium
Betulium co-operates with several companies, the majority of whose production side streams can be used as raw material for Betulium’s process. These companies often also have direct sales channels for certain industrial customers. When a partner starts using the patented technology, Betulium gets licence income and also the opportunity to sell fibre products produced under licence through its own channels to a different customer base. Betulium does not need to scale its production and start new business in industries where the existing operators have decades or even centuries of experience.
Benefits to customers and end users
The company’s technology enables polymer replacements to be manufactured at a lower cost than traditional polymers. The raw material is not subject to the same price fluctuations as oil, which means prices are predictable for end customers. Companies that license Betulium’s technology get better income from their side streams while the end users in different industries gain an environmentally friendly solution.
Betulium in a nutshell
Main business: biotechnology
Net sales: less than €1 million
Launch of circular economy solution: 2013
Share of the circular economy solution of the total business: 100%