Friday, 22 January 2016

Biobased innovation wins Climate and Environment award

German chemical company Clariant has been awarded the 2015 German Innovation Prize for Climate and Environment (Der Deutsche Innovationspreis für Klima und Umwelt - IKU) for its innovative sunliquid technology. This biotechnological process produces cellulosic ethanol from agricultural residues and was awarded first place in the Process Innovations category winning against 14 other competing technologies.

The sunliquid technology convinced a jury of independent experts from business, science, media and politics chaired by Professor Klaus Töpfer. Biofuels and biobased chemicals made from agricultural residues such as wheat straw are produced sustainably and economically using this process without competing with food or feed production. Cellulosic ethanol made with sunliquid® technology is ground-breaking for climate and environmental protection.

“Clariant is continually investing in the development of sustainable products from renewable raw materials and in the exploration of innovative biotechnologies such as sunliquid. This pioneering process has great potential for the production of environmentally compatible biofuels and a multitude of biobased raw materials that are suitable for various specialty products, such as those of the cosmetic industry,” said Clariant CEO Hariolf Kottmann.

“Biofuels from agricultural residues play a key role in making mobility more sustainable worldwide. Greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced by up to 95% compared with fossil fuels. The award from the Federal Ministry validates our approach,” added Andre Koltermann, Head of Group Biotechnology at Clariant pictured above (second left) receiving the award from Federal Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks (second right) and Holger Lösch, member of the BDI Executive Board (far right) with Markus Rarbach, Head Start-up Business Project Biofuels & Derivatives at Clariant (far left).

Innovative sustainable chemistry
The award highlights the chemical sector as a truly high-technology industry at the forefront of sustainable innovation. SusChem welcomes this prestigious German Innovation Prize going to innovative and sustainable chemistry. SusChem is committed to addressing societal challenges via a sustainability based approach (simultaneously addressing the needs of the 3Ps – people planet and profit) using innovative. This commitment is clear from the programmes and initiatives outlined in our Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda (SIRA).

“The 2015 German Innovation Prize for Climate and Environment warded to Clariant for its innovative sunliquid technology is another very good example that demonstrates the chemical industry’s commitment to addressing our grand societal challenges by investing in sustainable products derived from renewable raw material,” says Martin Winter, SusChem Innovation Manager at Cefic.

“Innovative biotechnologies at the forefront of innovation such as Clariant’s advanced sustainable sunliquid biofuel enable up to 95% savings in greenhouse gas emissions. As a result, it will contribute significantly to the decarbonisation of the transport sector without competing with food or feed resources.”

Sunlight technology
This is the fifth time that the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) and the Federation of German Industries (BDI) have awarded innovative projects focused on climate and environmentally friendly processes, products and services. The winning selections resulted from a profound technical analysis of all the applications by the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI). The award ceremony with Federal Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks and Holger Lösch, member of the BDI Executive Board, took place at the ministry in Berlin. The award comes with a cash prize of €25 000.

You can learn more about Clariant’s sunlight technology on the company’s website and in the video below.

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