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Solvay and Origin Materials Partner to Produce Carbon-Negative Materials for Automotive Industry

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The objective of the partnership is to rapidly develop and industrialize new products based on Origin Materials’ technology platform, which will be in high demand as OEMs seek to decarbonize their supply chains, said the companies.

Origin Materials (Sacramento, CA) and Solvay are collaborating to develop and industrialize advanced materials built on the Origin Materials carbon-negative technology platform for automotive applications. Solvay has signed a multi-year capacity reservation agreement for a drop-in ready specialty polyamide. The polymer is suited for internal combustion engine technology as well as e-mobility systems.

The companies believe these newly developed and industrialized materials will be in high demand as OEMs seek to decarbonize their supply chains. The companies will work to rapidly develop and industrialize new products based on Origin Materials’ technology platform, leveraging Solvay’s leadership position as a provider of expertise and resources across global supply chains, said the announcement.

Origin Materials uses non-food biomass, previously used cardboard, and sawdust to create its carbon-negative materials. According to a life cycle assessment study done in 2020, there was significant climate change benefit at commercial production scale when using sustainably grown North American softwood. Origin’s proprietary biomass-to-chemicals technology directly converts ligno-cellulosic plant-based carbon into chemical building blocks in an economical process without the need for an independent saccharification step, according to the company’s information.

In addition, Origin Materials’ technology platform is expected to provide stable pricing largely decoupled from the petroleum supply chain, which is exposed to more volatility than supply chains based on sustainable wood residues.

“The automotive industry is undertaking a massive transition to net zero. But electrification alone won’t be enough to get there,” said Rich Riley, Origin Materials co-CEO. “Without low-carbon and carbon-negative solutions for materials, it simply isn’t possible to manufacture a zero-carbon car. By working together, Solvay and Origin Materials will help turn the automotive industry’s net-zero ambitions into reality for countless brands. This collaboration is a significant step forward in our mission to enable the world’s transition to sustainable materials.”

Mike Finelli, President of Solvay Specialty Polymers, commented: “Today carbon-negative materials can be added to the evolution of our sustainability roadmap, which already includes different actions from the integrated use of renewables to generate electricity in our plants to pursuing more sustainable products with bio-sourced monomers or recycled content.”

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