MILAN (AP) — The Italian biochemical company Novamont has opened the first plant in the world to make a chemical compound used in the production of plastics with renewable sources.
Novamont CEO Catia Bastioli said Thursday the company has invested 100 million euros ($112 million) to convert an abandoned plant near Rovigo in Italy's Po River delta to start industrial production of the chemical compound, bio-butanediol.
Bastioli said that Novamont's production will be used primarily for biodegradable plastics for fruit and vegetable bags, food service products and shopping bags. The bio-butanediol chemical compound is made from sugars derived from corn biomass.
Until now, industrial production of butanediol has only been from fossil fuel sources. The plant will produce 30,000 tons a year, with the current global market running around 2 million tons.