Participated by Bio-on and Hera Group, Lux-on promises to produce a biodegradable polymer using carbon dioxide in a plant powered by renewable sources
Producing 100% biodegradable plastics using Co2 as raw material. And fueling the process only with renewable sources. This is what Lux-on promises, a new Italian company created by the alliance between Bio-on, a bioplastic company, and the Hera group, one of the main multiservice companies in the peninsula.
"The basic technology remains the same, as is the final product. We have added a substrate to those already used ", explains Marco Astorri, president and CEO of Bio-on. Already today, in its factories in Castel San Pietro Terme, in the hinterland of Bologna, the company produces the Phas biopolymer (abbreviation for poly-hydroxy-alkanoates) using beet molasses and sugar cane, fruit and potato waste. and used frying oil.
The company launched with the Hera Group will use the carbon dioxide present in the atmosphere as raw material. Co2 that will be absorbed directly from the air.
"The plant will be equipped with several meters high fans, which will absorb the air and filter the carbon dioxide. It is a technology already installed in different cities, we adapt it to our needs. And we have the ambition to use it not only to absorb Co2, but also to produce biopolymer, "explains Astorri to Wired.
The amount of carbon dioxide that will be absorbed, as well as that needed to produce one gram of bioplastic, is part of the industrial secret. What is certain is that the plant, in addition to absorbing CO2, will not put it into the atmosphere.
The energy used will be produced thanks to photovoltaic panels. The excess will be stored in the form of hydrogen, a choice that will ensure the operation of the plant over 24 hours.
The plant, which will occupy an area of 1,500 square meters, will stand next to the Bio-on plants. And, this the forecast, will be realized by 2019. To become then immediately operational. Also this technology, like the other patented by Bio-on, can be licensed to other companies. "The model will be open", guarantees Astorri. Moreover, he adds, "we do not develop anything that can not have an industrial function that can also be used by other companies all over the world".
Lux-on is 90% owned by Bio-On and 10% by the Hera Group. The latter will have the chance to rise up to 49.9%. "Our reality makes innovation and sustainability two fundamental principles. We believe that this alliance can also be developed beyond our territory ", comments Tomaso Tommasi di Vignano, executive chairman of multiutility serving over 350 Italian municipalities. Hera will bring in 200,000 tons a year of mowing and pruning. Raw material from which sugars used for bioplastic production will be extracted.
Without forgetting the fact that it is a company owned by 198 public shareholders that launches a partnership in a sector with a high degree of innovation. "This is an important challenge", comments Astorri, "and we are very proud of it". And that, as mentioned, will see the inauguration of production facilities by the end of next year.