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Mitsui Chemicals invests in Apeiron Bioenergy

Mitsui Chemicals invests in Apeiron Bioenergy
Chris Chen (left) Co-founder and Managing Director of Apeiron AgroCommodities Pte. Ltd (Apeiron Bioenergy), and Tadashi Yoshino, Representative Director, Member of the Board, and Managing Executive Officer of Mitsui Chemicals Corporation (photo courtesy MCC).

In Japan, Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. has announced that it invested in Singapore-headed Apeiron AgroCommodities Pte. Ltd rebranded and trading as Apeiron Bioenergy, one of the largest collectors and sellers of used cooking oil (UCO) in Southeast Asia and the China region.

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According to a statement, this investment, the value of which has not been disclosed, will help Mitsui Chemicals expand its procurement of biomass raw materials as it looks to meet the growing demand for biobased chemicals and plastics.

Enhance feedstock security

Driven by the push for a carbon-neutral society, players around the world are ramping up efforts to replace petroleum-derived raw materials and fuels with waste-based or biomass-derived alternatives.

Given the limited supply of these raw materials available to meet growing demand, feedstock security is expected to become an increasingly crucial point going forward.

For Mitsui Chemicals, the investment in Apeiron Bioenergy will help ensure a stable supply of biobased hydrocarbons, which serve as a raw material for the production of its biobased chemicals and plastics.

Grow the biobased chemicals and plastics market

Growing the market for biobased chemicals and plastics will also be a crucial factor in the push to increase biomass content across society as a whole.

By adding to Mitsui Chemicals a reliable source of biomass raw materials, the recent investment will help achieve both stable supply and market growth for the bio-based chemicals and plastics derived from these raw materials.

For Apeiron Bioenergy, meanwhile, the move will add a steady new source of demand.

The investment will also have broader benefits, helping expand the market for biobased chemicals and plastics by way of a business model that combines carbon neutrality with a circular economy.

The process flow for Mitsui Chemicals (graphic courtesy MCC).

UCO is an ideal waste-based biomass feedstock

According to Mitsui Chemicals, there are many options for waste-based biomass raw materials.

Used cooking oil (UCO), however, makes the largest contribution to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions – on top of which, its removal from the food chain is uncontroversial.

Mitsui Chemicals declared in November 2020 that it will endeavor to become carbon neutral by 2050.

By reducing Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions from the Mitsui Chemicals Group, as well as maximizing avoided GHG emissions through the provision of biobased hydrocarbon derivatives and other products, the company is helping bring about a carbon-neutral society with a circular economy.

Mitsui Chemicals become the first company in Japan to employ biobased hydrocarbons, which were introduced to Osaka Works in December 2021.

Mitsui Chemicals has since been using these to begin a biomass transition for chemicals such as phenol, as well as plastics such as polypropylene.

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