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Negative Emission Technologies are Needed to Reach Paris 2015: What About Biobased Lactic Acid and Biopolymers?

In order to meet the 2015 UNFCCC Paris Agreement's long-term goal to keep the increase in global average temperature well below 2°C and thus to mitigate risks and effects of climate change, the mere reduction of CO2 emissions do not suffice. It becomes even more critical, when a target of 1.5°C maximum increase is required, to develop technologies that capture and utilize CO2 from the atmosphere.

Green plants and Algae are able to capture dilute CO2 from the atmosphere and even though the process of photosynthesis has room for improvement, the biomass it generates serves as a carbon negative feedstock that provides renewable virgin resources to uncouple materials from fossil feedstocks. In order to realize a circular - reduce, reuse and recycle - economy, the use of renewable feedstocks is imperative to cover for the inevitable carbon losses. Thus, in our view the bioeconomy is an essential component of the circular economy.

Corbion is the world’s leading lactic acid producer and has developed advanced technology that uses renewable feedstocks to produce lactic acid at a net negative CO2 emission, representing one of the first examples of a so-called Negative Emission Technology. Lactic acid finds a myriad of applications ranging from food preservation to biobased and biodegradable plastics and the presentation will illustrate how Corbion contributes to UN SDG 2 (Zero Hunger) and SDG12 (Responsible Consumption and Production).