Renmatix 101

The name of our company represents what we do. We are developing the science of renewable materials.

Our contribution to that effort is to tackle one of the world's grand challenges: finding a way to economically unlock the chemical building blocks that reside in the plant life growing all over the world, season after season. And in so doing, we usher in a new industrial era where plants, not petroleum, are refined as the basis for chemicals, fuels, and products that we use every day.

What are renewable materials & why do we need them?

A renewable material is made from an organic natural resource which can replenish in the process of usage and consumption, either through biological reproduction or other naturally recurring processes. Renewable resources are a part of Earth's natural environment and the largest components of its landscape.

— "Management for a Small Planet" by Jean Garner Stead and W. Edward Stead, M.E. Sharpe 2009

Renmatix is in the business of breaking down plant materials. Specifically, nonfood or unused biomass waste that can be converted into building blocks for biochemicals and biofuels, across the globe. The sugars and polymers (lignin) that naturally make up those plants are those very building blocks.

In light of increasing pressures facing non-renewable materials (materials obtained from finite resources which, once exploited as far as is economically feasible, can never be replaced; they are not renewable, at best they can only be recycled - from G.M. Mudd, The 'Limits to Growth' and 'finite' mineral resources, 2010) from rising extraction costs, diminished availability, and relentless demand, we must identify viable alternatives. Fortunately, natural sources of raw plant materials are abundantly available and readily accessible. The challenge to date has been one of economics: how to source and scale a cost-competitive biobased alternative. In essence, finding a cost effective route to new biobased value chains that are capable of competing with decades of development in conventional petrochemical supply.

According to the journal Nature, the latest estimate of the planet’s tree population is 3 Trillion. (That's more trees on earth than there are stars in the Milky Way.) Even with biobased product utilization, sustainable management techniques allow our forests to regenerate in balance with planned harvests.

How is Renmatix unique?

We are focused on bridging 'upstream' renewable materials like forestry products, crop residues, and even municipal wastes with the 'downstream' manufacturing technologies that are used to produce biochemicals and biobased products. Biobased products are effectively the same products we use today, but their ingredients are extracted from the molecules inside those plants above ground - instead of the oil that they form after millenia of decay far below the surface.

Renmatix is fostering the bioindustry’s proliferation – by removing economic barriers to accessing the plant based energy and ingredients that we unlock. Making renewables affordable is the single greatest way to truly enable biochemicals, and accelerate the bioeconomy that depends on them. By introducing our new Plantrose® technology, we have found a competitive water-based route that allows sustainable feedstocks to provide an alternative to fossil fuel based petro-chemistry. Our technology offers the starting point for a whole new market of plantrochemicals, and all the subsequent products that they can be used to manufacture.

So what?

Our Plantrose process enables the economical production of biochemicals and biofuels. Biochemicals made from our building blocks have a different starting point, but can be refined or fermented to reach the same chemical endpoint. Our customers' new refineries are fed with plant material that grows back year after year, instead of consuming material that only comes out of the ground once. Plantrose technology enables affordable renewable materials as alternatives to petroleum-derived chemicals and fuels.

In the real world of business and economics, the biobased industry requires access to high volume, low cost sugars. Conventional technologies that have been used to extract these second generation sugars, from cellulose, are typically more expensive than first generation sugars, like corn and cane. Renmatix developed the Plantrose process to deconstruct biomass and produce cost-advantaged cellulosic sugars and novel polymers. These are the building blocks of biochemicals and advanced biofuels. They can be supplied without consuming food or relying on fossil feedstocks.

Access to these low cost sugars creates a compounding domino effect up and down the supply chain, enabling the broad scale-up of biochemical, cellulosic ethanol and second generation biofuel markets worldwide. By utilizing the Plantrose® process, our partners are diverging from an era of relying solely on oil-based chemistry to one reinvented as sugar-based, via modern technology. The economic breakthrough encompassed by this new process means a lower cost starting point for bioproducts enabling them to cost-effectively compete with conventional petro alternatives.