Sweetwater Energy Inc. announced Friday a 50-50 joint venture with Naturally Scientific Inc. to produce sugar from waste carbon dioxide.
The new technology converts carbon dioxide taken directly from the emissions of industries, such as ethanol refineries, natural gas power plants and others, into usable sugars.
The joint venture expands Sweetwater’s sugar-production reach beyond biomass-based, second-generation feedstocks into third-generation feedstocks, the Rochester-based renewable sugar producer said.
“It’s exciting to be able to take a greenhouse gas like carbon dioxide that is being vented into the atmosphere, turn it into sugar, and ultimately into useful products like biofuels and bioplastics,” said Arunas Chesonis, Sweetwater chairman and CEO, in a statement.
Sweetwater currently extracts sugars from many types of plant material. Those sugars are in essence a renewable alternative to petroleum because most products built from petroleum—such as plastics, fuels and many chemicals—can be built from Sweetwater’s sugars.
In April, Sweetwater announced its largest contract to date with the U.K.-based Naturally Scientific. Under the deal, Sweetwater will supply customized industrial sugars to Naturally Scientific in a 15-year deal valued at $250 million.
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