News - March 31, 2022

The Underestimated Scale of Paint Microplastic Emissions, Cargo Ships Powered by Wind and More - March Solutions' Update

Written by Sophie de Blonay 4 min read

A few days following the World Water Forum in Dakar and Monaco Ocean Week, the relevance of the Solar Impulse Foundation efficient and profitable Solutions Portfolio speaks for itself. Read below to find out more about the Solar Impulse Foundation Labeled Solutions' contribution to water-related global issues. Other successes this month include: a strong step in sustainable aviation fuel, the production of nature based leather, and cargo ships powered by wind.

Pinovo Brings Paint Micro-plastic Emissions to the Top of the Global Environmental Agenda   

Under Pinovo's request, EA-Environmental Action published research on the scale of global paint micro-plastic leakage in the oceans. The key finding of the report was that paint is the biggest source of ocean microplastic leakage, accounting for an estimated 1.9 million tonnes per annum. This represents 58% of estimated total annual ocean micro-plastic leakage - more than tires, textiles and pellets combined. Following this publication, the EU Commission recently announced an objective of reducing micro-plastic emissions by 30% by 2030. 

Paint microplastics may finally be on the agenda, but we still need more research to better understand the problem. Part of the solution is the use of innovative solutions such as Pinovo’s. Pinovo's Labeled Solution removes paint and rust from corroded steel surfaces, without micro-plastic emissions. Its circular system stops the contamination of the oceans with the paint micro-plastics from traditional grit blasting and water jet blasting methods, addressing the objectives of SDG 14: Life Bellow Water. 

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The World's First Solar Thermal Installation to Support Net Zero Sustainable Desalination - by Desolenator

In collaboration with the Dubai Water and Electricity Authority, Desolenator announced its flagship project: The world’s first solar thermal installation to support net zero sustainable desalination. This is a strong testament to the power of partnership to sustainably tackle big challenges. Desolenator’s mission is to shield communities and companies against the global water and climate crisis. This announcement marks a step towards achieving this goal. 

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Altereo's Technological Donation to the International Water Community

On World Water Day, the French Water Partnership (FWP), Institut Méditerranéen de l'Eau (IME), and Altereo presented the international community HpO® Collect: a free mobile application, which allows agents to collect the data necessary for the full efficiency of water network replacement in 20 seconds. This technological donation to the international water community is part of Altereo’s strategy to meet the major challenges alongside water utility. 

Because of the electricity wasted in producing water that never reaches the customer, leakage contributes to the acceleration of climate change. Leaks are estimated to be responsible for 55 million tons of CO2 emissions per year. Such unnecessary energy significantly impacts water utilities’ budgets, compromising their ability to invest in network replacement operations. To overcome this lack of data, the FWP and the IME have decided to support Altereo in the launching of HpO Collect®. 

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Cargo Ships Powered by Wind Thanks to Bound4Blue's Technology 

Bound4Blue announced an agreement with Amasus Shipping to start powering their M/V EEMS traveller with wind. Bound4Blue’s 91 meters length general cargo vessel will be retrofitted with two 17-metre-high eSAILs® during a port call in 2022. Bound4Blue’s eSAILs® are commercially available, proven, and reliable technology that turns wind into profit while reducing the carbon footprint of ships. Collaborating with Amasus Shipping team in this multiple sail operation is an opportunity to show that general cargo ships, which account roughly for twenty seven percent of the world merchant fleet, can benefit from Bound4Blue’s wind propulsion system. 

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AELER Raises CHF 7 Million in Large Scale Pre-Series A Financing

AELER has raised CHF 7 million in a Pre-series A financing round. AELER is transforming logistics by bringing advanced technologies to containers, allowing the reduction of both operational costs and CO2 emissions. This funding was received to meet rapidly growing demand for AELER’s new generation container - especially in the food & beverage, chemicals, FMCG, and luxury sectors - and expand Container As A Service. Many agree that the potential for change in the logistic industry is enormous. AELER is leading the way in revolutionizing the upstream supply chain.

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Synhelion Annouces the World's First Facility for the Industrial Production of Solar Fuel  

Following exciting news last month about Synhelion and Cemex partnership to produce zero emission clinker (February blog post), Synhelion announced a strategic collaboration with SWISS and Lufthansa to bring its solar aviation fuel to market. Synhelion has developed a technology that uses solar heat to convert CO2 and water into synthetic fuels. This solar fuels are carbon neutral as they only emit as much CO2 during combustion as was used for production. The company uses this method to produce petrol, diesel and jet fuels. SWISS and Synhelion are playing a pioneering role in the production and the adoption of sustainable aviation fuels. Synhelion will build the world’s first facility for the industrial production of solar fuel in Germany this year. 

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Deepki Completes a Series C Round of Funding

The funding was jointly led by Highland Europe and One Peak Partners, two London-based venture capital firms specialising in growth stage tech investments across Europe, with additional backing from Bpifrance and Revaiam as well as existing investors Hi Inov and Statkraft Ventures. The investment secured will allow Deepki to continue to innovate, develop, and improve their SaaS platform, open their first office in the United States, strengthen their presence in Europe, and double their workforce by recruiting 200 new employees. Deepki supports real-estate players in their transition to net zero and sustainability. The real-estate sector is responsible for around 40% of global emissions. To achieve this transition, Deepki offers a fully populated ESG data intelligence platform combined with expert advisory services. Deepki’s Labeled Solution leverages data to improve ESG performance and enhance the value of real estate assets.

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Polybion Secures Series A Funding Round 

Polybion is scaling up production, and successfully closed a US$4.4 million Series A financing round led by Blue Horizon. At maximum capacity, Polybion’s solar-powered industrial-scale bacterial cellulose manufacturing will produce 1.1 million square feet per year of the company’s proprietary biotextile Celium®. Polybion will use the new funds to expand the company’s carbon-neutral bio-manufacturing facility, increase research and development efforts, and deploy into consumer goods. Polybion’s next-generation materials and Labeled Solution Celium® is a bacterial cellulose-based, high performance leather substitute that can replace and decrease the use of leather from animal origin.

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Ecoxtract® Receives Green Light From EFSA 

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has reported that the biobased solvent behind the Labeled Solution EcoXtract® technology (methyloxolane) is safe for producing food (EFSA's safety assessment). This paves the way for offering an alternative to petrochemical solvents currently used in the food industry. EcoXtract uses methyloxolane, an innovative bio-based solvent for the extraction of vegetable oils, plant proteins and natural ingredients. Methyloxolane is produced from agricultural by-products. Its carbon footprint is only 10% that of the petrochemical solvents it replaces. This positive assessment brings EcoXtract® closer to being a leader in the food production decarbonization. 

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Isover’s Bio-based Glass Wool Insulation Now Available in Rolls 

Saint-Gobain ISOVER SA will be celebrating its 85-year anniversary in 2022. ISOVER has been active in the insulation materials industry for more than 85 years, and for the first time their Labeled bio-based glass wool insulation with natural binder is now available in rolls. Their new self-adhesive rolls are characterised by stability and high thermal insulation performance. The achievement of this maximum thermal and acoustic insulation performance was possible thanks to years of research. Saint-Gobain’s Labeled Solution ISOVER contains a least 40% recycled glass and a vegetal binder coming from cereal crop waste recovery which avoids the use of fossil fuel based chemistries and reduces the emission profile of the raw material. 

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Written by Sophie de Blonay on March 31, 2022

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