Bill Gates is leading a $14 million (£10.68m) investment into a biofuel company to fund the development of green plastics.
Renmatix’s ‘Plantrose’ process uses highly pressurised hot water to convert biomass into a cellulose sugar that can then be made into alternative plastic materials.
These are water-based rather than petroleum-based and can be used to make products ranging from drinking cups to cell phone parts and industrial adhesives.
The technology has the potential to introduce renewable processes into wider petroleum-based industries.
Mr Gates said: “To effectively address climate change, we need to develop an energy infrastructure that doesn’t emit greenhouse gas and is cost competitive. A critical component in this effort must be to decarbonise the industrial sector. Another is the possibility of cost competitive biofuels.”
Global energy firm Total is also investing in the company, expanding upon its initial investment in 2015. It has also signed a licensing agreement with Renmatix for one million tonnes of annual cellulosic sugar production capacity.