Bloom Biorenewables - the chemical replacement of petroleum

The company Bloom was founded at the beginning of 2019. They convert vegetative waste such as wood, nut shells or fruit kernels into high-quality chemicals that can be used to make fragrances, hair dyes or preservatives. So they're developing a chemical substitute for petroleum.

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We have met the CEO and Founder Remy Buser in Fribourg

The young Dr. has told us that crude oil is contained in almost every product around us. Crude oil is probably the most important raw material of our modern industrial society. Above all as an energy supplier and fuel, it is almost unthinkable to life without it. But crude oil is also indispensable for the production of plastics in the chemical industry. In other words, there is NO sustainable alternative for what is probably the most important pillar of our society - oil.

The Technology

Bloom has developed the first efficient process for the production of biochemicals in plant material. Thus, non-edible biomass (e.g. wood waste from agricultural forestry) can be a real substitute for crude oil as it is an abundant source of carbon. The increasing environmental impact of climate change and scarcity of resources is forcing society to rethink our chemical industry, which is largely based on fossil raw materials.

They discovered a substance in plants that holds the cellulose fibres together, so it acts like an adhesive - lignin. Due to its structure, it is the fraction of the plant with the highest energy density and is chemically most similar to petroleum. Because of these properties, lignin was for a long time a target for the production of renewable chemicals, but most attempts failed. However, Bloom has developed a mild lignin extraction or "biomass pre-treatment" using stabilizing molecules (so-called "protecting groups") that prevent the lignin from condensing during extraction. This latest breakthrough enables unprecedented efficiency in transforming into smaller platform molecules and opens up countless new ways for the sustainable manufacture of diverse products.

Dr. Remy Buser - CEO and co-founder
The Team from Bloom

Where is petroleum contained?

Petroleum is used to make petrol and diesel. But that's by no means all. We run on it, it is a component of shoes, toys and a variety of household appliances made of plastic. We chew it because it is a part of the chewing gum base, we rub it into the skin, for example the well-known Vaseline is a petroleum product, the candle wax, the asphalt and also our mattress contains crude oil. PET bottles, DVDs, furniture, clothes and many other products that we need or eat every day.

We are excited to see how Bloom and its unique technology will evolve. For a more detailed explanation of the technology you can watch the video below.

CEO and co-founder Dr. Remy Buser explains the unique technology

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