By: Shawn Wright
August 23, 2012
HOUSTON (Aug. 23, 2:10 p.m. ET) — Waste Management Inc. has entered into a joint development agreement to explore the possibility of converting post-consumer waste into sugars for manufacturing biobased materials.
Houston-based Waste Management will work with Renmatix Inc., a manufacturer of biobased sugar intermediates for global and chemical fuel markets, according to a news release.
Renmatix will look at multiple waste streams collected and processed by Waste Management that include source-separated recyclables, food scraps, construction and demolition debris, and pulp and paper waste.
King of Prussia, Pa.-based Renmatix wants to see how the materials can be reduced to sugar and used for production of renewable chemicals and fuels, according to the release.
"This initiative has the potential to harness post-consumer biomass from urban communities as a source for cellulosic sugars," Mike Hamilton, CEO of Renmatix, said in a statement. "Together we are exploring a new pathway to renewing waste."
Waste Management calls the agreement "strategic investment and alliance." The amount of the investment stake was not disclosed.
Other investors in Renmatix include BASF SE, which in January announced that it had invested $30 million in the company.
Looking to the future potential of waste, WM has invested in other waste-conversion technology companies in the recent past, including Enerkem Inc., Agilyx Corp., Fulcrum BioEnergy Inc., Genomatica Inc. and others.