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February 6, 2014
New Opportunities and Practical Advice Shared at Bio-Based Renewable Chemicals Summit

The 5th Annual Bio-Based and Renewable Chemicals Summit is underway and throughout the proceedings attendees have heard one message loud and clear: renewables are here, they are growing, and the time for addressing the critical path to commercialization is now.

Kathleen M. Roberts, Executive Director of the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG™), served as Summit Chair. She moderated a spirited session featuring Benjamin M. Borns, Technical Expert in Application of Bio-Based Materials, Sherwin-Williams; Stéphane Delalande, Ph.D., Materials Innovation, Scientific Department, PSA Peugeot Citroën; Gopal Goyal, Chief Scientist, International Paper; Nick Kob, Ph.D., Global Business Development Manager, Huntsman; and Joe Kuczynski, Ph.D., Member, IBM Academy of Technology, IBM Corporation.

Panelists stressed the importance of establishing partnerships to ensure success of new biobased products. Conference attendees debated the relevance of mandates in increasing marketability of biobased products and questioned whether the concept of a "green" premium is sufficient to grow the market, ultimately concluding a green premium is essential. Panelists also expressed the market reality that renewable chemicals are promising, but stressed that they must be efficacious and offer comparable or superior performance characteristics to compete in a competitive market.

During Tuesday's "Strategic Business Forum," Lynn L. Bergeson, Of Counsel to BRAG and Managing Partner of Bergeson & Campbell, P.C., expressed enthusiasm over the recent passage of the Farm Bill, which offers exciting opportunities for renewable chemicals producers and others. Bergeson also expressed "the need for prompt advocacy to ensure that pending Toxic Substances Control Act [TSCA] reform provides commercialization opportunities for renewable chemicals classified as new chemicals under TSCA."

Williams J. Orts, Ph.D., United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), also expressed much enthusiasm over the recently enacted Farm Bill, and urged attendees to avail themselves of new funding and other marketing opportunities offered by the new law.

Attendees heard from Lux Research's Julia Allen that "bio-based drop-in replacement products are showing strong capacity growth through 2017, while improvement products are an emerging segment of the industry."

The Summit wraps up on Friday, February 7, with case studies on innovative technologies and platforms, including presentations on biobased acrylic acid by Novomer CEO Jim Mahoney, biobased succinic acid by Philipp Walter, Managing Director of Succinity®, a joint project of BASF and Corbion Purac, and a progress report on POET-DSM's construction and licensing efforts in cellulosic biofuels by Senior Vice President and CTO of POET Research.

For more information on BRAG's efforts in advocating for renewable products in the legislative and regulatory arenas, and easing the path of commercialization of biobased and renewable products, visit www.braginfo.org or contact Kathleen M. Roberts.


 
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