A new way of producing bioplastics at half costs, the promise to soon leave behind the ‘plastic islands’ that suffocate the seas, the horizon of concretely accelerate the ecological transition. And the green industrial revolution ‘working progress’ by FabricNano, the English startup founded by the very young Grant Aarons, 30 years old American engineer and CEO of the company, and Ferdinando Randisi, 32 years old Italian physicist and CTO of the startup. The invention grounded by Randisi and Aarons is a revolution in which many investors already believe and is based on a complex technological process of cell-free bioproduction in which enzymes are immobilized on a DNA tissue. For this invention the startup born in London has just won a $ 12.5 million Series A funding round conducted by the Atomico fund, with the participation of the investors Backed, Hoxton Ventures and Entrepreneur First. In this round, FabricNano and its ‘bioplastics revolution’ were to believe and finance also prominent international business angels including Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, actress Emma Watson, UN sustainability ambassador, and former Bayer CEO Alexander Moscho.
“Our industrial technology has shown both environmental and economic benefits and can be applied to
many products that today derive from the petrochemical sector “underlines the Italian physicist Ferdinando Randisi, Co-founder and Cto of FabricNano, reached by telephone in London by Adnkronos. This technology, he warns, “may also open the door to large-scale production of new biomaterials and also allow the production of new drugs or ‘pharmaceutical ingredients’ at lower costs.” “In short, our invention would seem to respond to the goal of the much-claimed ecological transition”, the researcher says. The funds raised in this round with Atomico, which ended last week, will be used by FabricNano for accelerate the development of FabricFlow technology that offers a scalable alternative to processes oil-based in the production of synthetic materials such as plastics and chemicals. Randisi clarifies that “the perspective of our technological process is of to bring the cost of bioplastics from the current $ 3 per kilo to $ 1-1.5 per kilo and to reach products for the market in just over a year “. Throughout 2021, assures the Italian physicist, “we will focus on the efficiency and costs of our FabricFlow technology”. “We are the first in the world to immobilize enzymes on DNA in an industrial process and with nanometric precision” underlines Randisi, thus explaining the key technology that came out of the startup’s laboratories.
The Italian scientist-entrepreneur argues that “plastics of biological origin, biodegradable, are already a reality and are produced through fermentation by specialized microorganisms (the same process from which we have beer or wine) and with a much lower environmental impact than to petroleum-derived plastics if we replaced petroleum-derived plastic with bioplastic in all the products we use today, this pollution would become a problem of the past “. The Italian physicist observes, however, that” unfortunately, in most cases, bioplastics are unable to replace the polluting plastics derived from petroleum precisely because of their prohibitive cost: organic plastic costs about double: 2-3 dollars per kilo against 1-1.5 dollars per kilo of ‘traditional’ plastic. A prohibitive cost for many common products such as cutlery or plastic packaging “. “With our production process instead – Randisi therefore indicates – chemical companies such as Versalis, RadiciGroup, Basf or Solvay could produce bioplastics starting from raw glycerin: today it is not done and we have paved the way “. In addition, crude glycerin “is produced in abundance as a waste material from the biodiesel production process. For example, so much glycerin is produced in Brazil that they often have to burn it to get rid of it.”