24-01-2020

BioBTX lands investment for sustainable factory ambitions

Thanks to a joint investment from the Economic Board Groningen and others, BioTX is able to take a giant leap forward in their ambition to create a factory producing widely used chemicals on a large scale, in a completely sustainable and circular way. Three existing shareholders and two new ones decided to finance the amount necessary. Carduso Capital, Lynnovation and Vries Beheer followed up on earlier investments, the GROEIfonds of the Economic Board Groningen and the NOM decided to co-finance.

In 2012, a group of scientists and entrepreneurs in Groningen decided to look for new ways to produce bio-based molecules for the chemical industry and out of that, BioBTX was born. In 2018, BioBTX opened a pilot plant to further develop their unique process for converting biomass to aromatic compounds, which are the building blocks for plastics and much more. This technology can even be used to recycle plastics that are now burned or dumped in landfills.

Ambitious plans

Running a pilot plant has given BioBTX valuable knowledge and expertise and the company now wants to further optimize the processes, the tech and the products themselves, as well as finalizing market studies, expanding the team and finding the right location for the factory. “We’re using this investment to take a sprint towards the next investment round to finance the factory and we’re looking to open in 2023”, says BioBTX CEO Pieter Imhof. “We know this may sound ambitious, but we’re absolutely confident in the feasibility of our plan, because we now have the financial space to prepare, down to the details.”

Ideals for the Northern Netherlands

The importance of investments of this kind, especially in the Northern Netherlands, is nothing short of obvious, Imhof says. “The company started as a joint initiative of northern Dutch entrepreneurs (KNN, Syncom), duly aware that sustainability is extremely relevant for our future and that we need to invest in technology that substantially contributes to this. But also that companies like ours are important for the Northern Netherlands. We have a great climate here for growing innovations into stable businesses that not only contribute to our future, but also creates jobs in a region that could really use them. So this is what we’ll be working very hard for in the coming years.”

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CFK Recycling from Germany wins Sustainable Industry Challenge 2020
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CFK Recycling from Germany wins Sustainable Industry Challenge 2020

A few months back, the Economic Board Groningen (EBG) launched an international search to come up with new and innovative ways to make the chemical industry in the Northern Netherlands more sustainable. More than 200 international scale-ups answered the call and this week, the German company CFK Recycling was declared the winner of the Sustainable Industry Challenge, winning €100,000 to set up a pilot project.