Cambridge –The Centre for Research and Innovation in the Bio Economy (CRIBE) is providing $180,380 to Thesis Chemistry Inc, (THESIS) to produce environment-friendly versions of chemicals from a wood waste product called lignin.
Approximately 95% of all chemicals manufactured today are derived from petroleum. THESIS has already successfully made laboratory-quality chemicals like vanillin and syringaldehyde from wood lignin. These compounds are known as oxo-aromatic chemicals and have widespread applications in the food, flavour, fragrance, pharmaceutical, agrichemical and dye industries.
Lignin is made up of aromatic molecules and is the only natural source of such chemicals outside of fossil fuels. One very promising source of lignin is the black liquor produced at Ontario’s kraft pulp mills. In the kraft process, black liquor is burnt in a recovery boiler and used to generate heat and power for mill operations. However, some of the lignin in black liquor could be removed and supplied to companies like THESIS.
Projects like this secure Ontario’s important place in the green economy.
“We greatly appreciate this significant opportunity to work together with CRIBE in the development and commercialization of our green technology”, said Dr. John Peterson, Chief Technology Officer at THESIS. “This collaboration is viewed as a very important step in our commercialization of a portfolio of chemicals that can be produced from sustainable biomass. Furthermore, the creation for long-term manufacturing and employment opportunities associated with the use of kraft pulp lignin in this manner stands to benefit communities in Northern Ontario for decades to come.”
“Innovation is the growth engine of the future, and companies like THESIS are showing the world how it’s done”, said Minister of Innovation and Research Glen Murray. “Partnering with CRIBE to bring this significant project to life not only creates good jobs, but also helps Ontario turn the corner towards a greener future for our children.”
“The success of opportunities like this put Ontario in the forefront of green chemical technology and innovation,” said Frank Dottori, Chair of CRIBE. “The Province’s vast forests are ideally suited to the sustainable production of bio-fuels and green chemicals. “
The Centre for Research and Innovation in the Bio-Economy is a provincial initiative to transform the forest products industry in Northern Ontario. We're an independent, not-for-profit research corporation, with $25 million in funding provided by the government of Ontario, which partners closely with other relevant organizations to provide support to direct and turn research results and innovative business opportunities into operational realities. CRIBE will help the bio-economy to play a central role in the metamorphosis of Northern Ontario's future - creating jobs, opportunity and prosperity.
Thesis Chemistry, based in Cambridge, ON, is a leader in developing innovative, green technologies for cost effective and environmentally responsible chemical manufacturing from sustainable forest and agricultural biomass. The Company is currently in the process of commercializing its technology platform with the intent of becoming a world-renowned, green chemical company. This effort is expected to create numerous manufacturing and employment opportunities in communities harbouring a rich supply of biomass, while simultaneously lessening the world’s reliance on crude oil for chemical production.