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Evertree: The new branch of plant chemistry

14 Sep 2016 | Front page, Advanced Materials, Investment

Evertree, a new company dedicated to reducing harmful chemicals, has developed a rapeseed-based additive that can replace the formaldehyde traditionally used to manufacture wood composite panels. It's new. It’s exciting. And it’s right here in Northern France.

Alternatives to harmful chemicals

As consumers become increasingly concerned about the health and environmental impacts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), plant-based chemicals offer an attractive alternative. Three partners—the Avril Group, Israeli start-up Biopolymer Technologies, and the SPI (Société de Projets Industriels) investment fund managed by Bpifrance—have responded to this opportunity by creating Evertree, a joint venture specializing in renewable chemistry.

Rapeseed-based resin additive

At its industrial pilot plant in Compiègne, Evertree is using rapeseed meal to produce a resin additive that is highly sought after in the wood composite panel industry. With this promising new product, customers can reduce and perhaps even eliminate the use of formaldehyde, which is harmful to health and to the environment. And because the Evertree additive delivers the same level of performance with less resin, customers will see significant productivity gains as well.

Timeline and funding

The Compiègne pilot facility is expected to begin production in 2017, and a larger factory in France will begin operating in 2018. By 2020, production capacity should reach 50,000 metric tons per year, creating 110 direct jobs. Evertree currently has €24 million to develop and market its first industrial application, and the three JV partners have agreed to invest a total of €72 million over four years.

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