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P&G partners with cellulosic ethanol firm

Procter & Gamble and ZeaChem will research, develop and demonstrate, scale-up, and commercialize new ‘drop-in’ bio-based chemicals and other products.

Procter & Gamble has joined into a binding multi-year joint development agreement with ZeaChem Inc., a developer of biorefineries for the conversion of renewable feedstocks into sustainable fuels and chemicals. The agreement is expected to accelerate development of ZeaChem's C2 carbon chain suite of products through the commercialization of "drop-in" bio-based chemicals and other products.

"As part of its long-term environmental sustainability vision, P&G is committed to using 100% sustainably sourced renewable or recycled materials for all products and packaging," says Len Sauers, P&G's vice president for global sustainability. "Novel innovations from our suppliers, such as ZeaChem's unique process to create bio-based chemicals, are critical to us achieving this vision." In April, P&G began production of a high-density polyethylene shampoo bottle for Western Europe that comprises plastic made from sugarcane.

"We're very pleased to partner with Procter & Gamble, a global leader in consumer products and sustainable operations," says Jim Imbler, president and CEO of ZeaChem. "This definitive agreement will accelerate the time to market for our new product platform and the commercial production of economical and sustainable biofuels and bio-based chemicals using ZeaChem's highly efficient technology."

ZeaChem's reports that its process uses renewable feedstocks such as poplar trees and agricultural residues to produce the highest yield and lowest carbon emissions of any known biorefining technology. The company has begun fermentation work on this new product platform using the same processes and equipment that the company used to prove and scale up its C2 product platform. The new platform also enables ZeaChem to ultimately deploy its technology for the production of other bio-based chemicals as well as drop-in fuels.

The two companies will utilize ZeaChem's existing infrastructure at its lab in Menlo Park, CA, pilot facility at Hazen Research in Golden, CO, and demonstration-scale biorefinery in Boardman, OR. Together, P&G and ZeaChem will research, develop and demonstrate, scale-up, and commercialize this new product platform.

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