Evonik has closed on an equity investment in Biosynthetic Technologies, LLC (BT), a specialist in biobased lubricants headquartered in Irvine (California, USA). BT has developed and manufactures a new class of bio-based synthetic oils called estolides that are used primarily in the passenger car motor oil and industrial lubricant sectors. Field trials have shown that the technical characteristics of the biobased synthetic oils made by BT are exceptionally good, and include the ability to combat soot buildup in engines, which helps keep fuel consumption low. In addition to Evonik, BP Ventures also participated as a second strategic investor in this current funding round that focuses on growth. BP Ventures as well as Monsanto Company have already invested in previous financing rounds.
“Biosynthetic Technologies leads the way to high-quality sustainable lubricants,” says Dr. Bernhard Mohr, head of Evonik Venture Capital. “In view of the large automotive market and the strong trend towards fuel-economy and sustainability, this is a growing market with a strong fit to Evonik´s oil additives business.”
“We are excited to have Evonik join us as a strategic investor,” says Allen Barbieri, CEO of Biosynthetic Technologies. “In addition to its capital investment, Evonik brings world class manufacturing, R&D and sales & marketing expertise that will expedite our commercialization process.”
Evonik is a leader in the development of technologies for the production of lubricant additives. Its high-performance additives increase both productivity and fuel efficiency. Regional technology centers, modern global manufacturing centers, and a secure and reliable supply chain worldwide enable Evonik’s continuous development of customized solutions for customers anywhere in the world.
Biosynthetic Technologies’ new class of bio-based synthetic oils are made from organic fatty acids found in plant oils and have numerous uses in the lubricant, chemical, and cosmetics industries. They are biodegradable, nontoxic and they do not bio-accumulate in marine life. BT holds a broad patent portfolio to protect these novel biosynthetic oils that are marketed under the trade name LubriGreen® Biosynthetic Oils.
BT’s lubricants are now being tested and certified by many of the world’s largest lubricant manufacturers who want to use these as components in their existing or new motor oil and industrial lubricant product lines.
Within its venture capital activities Evonik plans to invest a total of €100 million in highly promising start-ups with break-through technologies and leading specialist venture capital funds. These investments will focus on Europe, the U.S. and Asia. Partnering with innovative start-up companies supplements Evonik’s approach of open innovation and creates excellent opportunities for accelerating the development of new businesses and opening up future growth fields.
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