FortressAB partners with Mondolez on bioproducts technology
December 11, 2018
By P&PC staff
Dec. 11, 2018 - Fortress Advanced Bioproducts (FortressAB) has entered a collaboration with Mondelēz International, one of the world's largest snacking companies, that will grant FortressAB an exclusive license to use Mondolēz's sugar-based bioproduct manufacturing technology on byproducts from Fortress's dissolving pulp mill.
Mondolēz developed the technology with S2G Biochemicals, which was acquired by Fortress Global in 2018. The company then established FortressAB laboratory and pilot plant facilities in Vancouver to commercialize the technology. Fortress Global runs its dissolving pulp business out of the Fortress Specialty Cellulose mill in Thurso, Que.
The licensed technology is the result of a multi-year collaboration between Mondelēz and S2G to provide an environmentally sustainable process to produce cost-optimized, sugar-based bioproducts, including xylitol, a premium low-calorie sweetener used in gum, candy and food products.
Fortress Global produces an ideal feedstock for the process at the Fortress Specialty Cellulose mill, by rinsing hemicellulose sugars from sustainably harvested, non-GMO, hardwood trees. Mondelēz will collaborate with FortressAB to demonstrate the technology through funding and technical support for the construction of a xylitol and complementary bioproducts demonstration plant at the Fortress Specialty Cellulose mill, scheduled to start up in 2020.
If successfully demonstrated, the licensed technology could be scaled up to commercially produce approximately 20,000 tonnes per year of xylitol and complementary bioproducts from the hemicellulose sugars available from the Thurso mill. Fortress Global says it believes that a full-scale plant at the Fortress Specialty Cellulose mill using the licensed Mondelēz technology together with S2G’s knowhow will be one of the lowest cost producers of xylitol globally.
Giovanni Iadeluca, president and CEO of Fortress Global, says, “We are very pleased that a global leader such as Mondelēz has chosen to work with Fortress Global to commercialize this important technology for xylitol production. Mondelēz has agreed to an exclusive, worldwide license on mutually attractive commercial terms, including commitments in principle relating to the purchase of xylitol from the demonstration plant and a future commercial plant. Such support is important to enable Fortress Global to move forward confidently with the xylitol and complementary bioproducts demonstration project at its dissolving pulp mill.”
In addition to the Mondelēz support, FortressAB is negotiating definitive grant, equity and loan funding agreements for the demonstration project with various organizations within the federal and provincial governments. The funding will support installation and operation of demonstration-scale equipment to produce xylitol for qualification and use by Mondelez and other customers. Fortress will be evaluating the production of complementary bioproducts over the course of the three-year demonstration project.
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