Biofuels and bioenergy have now become an essential component in the world’s renewable energy mix. Last month, French multinational energy company, Total (NYSE: TOT) and Bill Gates recently invested $14 million in a new biomass conversion technology from clean tech start up Renmatix.
Renmatix is focused on the economical production of biochemicals and biofuels as an alternative to petro-driven fuels. Their Plantrose technology uses super critical water to reduce the costs associated in the conversion of biomass (wood or agricultural waste) to cellulosic sugars for biofuels. Biofuels and bioenergy are now a critical part of the world’s renewable energy mix.
In a new research study by Transparency Market Researh, Biofuels International reported that the global biofuels market is expected to reach $246.52 billion by 2024. The study also highlighted the different regions use of biofuels stating that Europe and Brazil are the biggest consumers of biofuels for electricity and transportation whereas China and India are the primary cconsumers of bioenergy products like biogas and bioethanol.
This new investment from Total and Gates will help Renmatix commercialize the Plantrose technology that can be used in a new biorefineries. The company says the new biorefineries will be targeted in diverse markets such as the US, India, Malaysia and Canada.
In 2015, Total made an initial investment in Renmatix. Total also signed a new agreement with Renmatix for a million ton license of cellulosic sugar production each year.
Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and CEO, Total said the company wants to become the responsible energy major.
“We want to make low-carbon businesses a profitable growth driver accounting for 20% of our portfolio in 20 years’ time. Meeting these goals is what has led to setting-up and expanding our collaboration with Renmatix,” said Pouyanné.
Renmatix has received a total of $122 million in funding to date from five investors including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.