Our Dependency on Petroleum-Based Products Must Come to an End
Despite some ongoing debate, there is a majority consensus among the international community that dependency on petroleum and fossil fuels is driving climate change. With the introduction of The Paris Agreement in 2016, nations around the world have committed to working toward addressing the growing threat of global warming and the urgent need to scale back on carbon emissions.
Yet transitioning from a fossil fuel-based economy won’t be easy, given that petroleum is currently found in virtually everything from the fuel we use to power transportation systems and industrial production, to common household and consumer products like plastic and paper. The key to changing the current petroleum-based model will be to find environmentally sustainable and commercially viable alternatives that are both cost effective and scalable for industrial production and consumer use.
How Do We Get There?
On the surface, the task of finding viable alternatives might seem daunting. The cost of producing environmentally sustainable alternatives to petroleum-based products remains a factor, as does how quickly new technology can be implemented to address climate change and market demands. However, the good news is that the costs associated with developing key sustainable technologies have been dropping across the board.
CellMark and Ecohelix, a Swedish startup company that has developed a technology for a biopolymer alternative to petroleum, are working together to create cost-efficient solutions for current petroleum-based products. By joining forces, they intend to hasten the speed of transition to sustainably produced industrial and consumer products.
An Environmentally Sustainable Alternative to Petroleum
Ecohelix uses membrane filtration technology to produce a biopolymer based on hemicellulose. Hemicellulose is a natural polymer found in plant cell walls, and it is non-toxic and biodegradable. The company’s goal is to produce a cost-efficient and sustainable product alternative that can successfully match and replace petroleum-based chemicals.
Early stage target applications include:
- Gas and grease barrier coatings
- Binders and adhesives
Additional research and product development is ongoing to discover and introduce further (potential) areas of application.
Ecohelix has established pilot-scale production in a Swedish pulp mill and is currently testing the product in collaboration with several formulation and chemical companies. Ecohelix AB is a startup-company based on a patented technology that was developed at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm.
The Partnership Between CellMark and Ecohelix
CellMark and Ecohelix will collaborate to develop application cases and establish a supply chain to introduce Ecohelix technology and technical expertise to various formulators and chemical companies.
CellMark’s Technology and Chemicals team will work together to encourage innovation and product development of Ecohelix technology, and to identify new markets for hemicellulose-based products, offering a competitive and financially viable alternative to petroleum-based products for global manufacturers.
The Future of Sustainable Technology
Finding successful and commercially lucrative alternatives to fossil fuels is a formidable task. Meeting the goals set forth in Paris – to address the growing threat of climate change and its impact on environmental and human health – will require continued investment and commitment in new technologies. It will also require industrial production methods that look for sustainable ways to meet global energy and production demands for the current and future marketplace.
The transition to a cleaner and more efficient-energy future will benefit both manufacturers and consumers, since new technology and applications will become more affordable and easier to scale.
Ecohelix is testing the efficacy of their biopolymer technology as well as adapting the Ecohelix process with a Swedish paper mill.
Redefining the Future Through Market Innovation
Technology like Ecohelix’s biopolymer draws inspiration from natural processes to capitalize and develop environmentally friendly and sustainable principles to meet modern commercial and production needs. As our reliance on petroleum-based products and large-scale burning of fossil fuels becomes more and more unsustainable, clean technology will play a key role in bridging the gap between the old model and the new path toward a greener, healthier future for the planet.
Strategic partnerships between entrepreneurs, investors, marketers and manufacturing interests will play a critical role in developing new technology and scaling it to become more affordable and commercially successful than current petroleum-based products. As environmental movements and awareness continue to shed light on the problems and costs associated with fossil fuel production, consumers are becoming more interested in finding products that meet sound environmental standards, and also ensure the safety and health of their families and communities. This presents a great opportunity for innovative companies and investors to fill the void and help meet the growing demand for a sustainable, green energy future.
The CellMark Difference
CellMark offers a global meeting place for entrepreneurs to explore business opportunities and strategic relationships for collaborative innovation. Our platform mitigates risk, reduces waste of resources, and helps entrepreneurs exchange products and services more efficiently. Together with our business partners, we deliver products, services and solutions to the world market.
The CellMark vision is to surpass expectations in helping entrepreneurs develop efficiently resourced products with global reach, enabling the world and its population to benefit from these innovations.Read more