Before renewables became a buzzword, Cargill understood how chemicals based upon such feedstocks might one day meet significant market needs. In 2003, the company engaged Materia to explore how metathesis might be applied for the synthesis of high value products from its natural oils. Under a multi-year sponsored program, Materia developed commercially viable processes by evaluating and manipulating feedstocks, catalyst systems and other key reaction variables. As reaction efficiencies improved and the breadth of potential opportunities increased, the program’s work plan grew, with significant expansions taking place first in 2005 and again in 2007. In 2008, the venture was spun off with independent financing from the Texas Pacific Group as Elevance Renewable Sciences.
Elevance continues to expand broad commercial applications of the Materia metathesis technology as applied to natural oils. In mid 2010, the company took a large step – by forming a joint venture with Wilmar International, Asia’s leading agribusiness group. The new venture will apply metathesis technology for the production of high performance chemicals in a world-scale biorefinery (400-800 million pounds) that is expected to come on line in 2012. In addition, the company announced in June, 2011 that they had acquired the former Delta Fuels site in Natchez, MS that it will convert to a 2nd biorefinery. For more information, visit Elevance.