Sappi acquired Xylex® and Versalac® technologies owned by Plaxica Limited. According to the announcement, the transaction will result in Sappi acquiring the sugar clean up technologies which includes the patents, knowhow, equipment and key technical staff of Plaxica.
The technology acquisition follows Sappi’s successful commissioning of a demonstration extraction unit at its Ngodwana Mill in South Africa during April 2017 to extract a sugar rich prehydrolysate stream from the PHK pulping process. The next step towards the production of clean sugars involves the clean-up of the PHK liquor or hydrolysate to separate the xylose-rich sugars from the lignin.
Louis Kruyshaar, Executive Vice President of Sappi Biotech, commented:
“Plaxica’s Xylex® solution is rated as one of the most advanced to offer optimum efficiency and economics for separation and clean-up of C5 sugars from pulp mill hydrolysates.”
Sappi has a high degree of confidence that its hydrolysate extraction capabilities together with the proprietary low cost Xylex® technology will enable Sappi to realise its stated objective to participate in the downstream value chains which include Furfural, Glycols and Xylitol.
Plaxica Limited is a UK technology licensing company founded in 2008 as a spin-out from Imperial College, London. It is situated in the Wilton Technology Centre in the UK.
Earlier Sappi Europe increases prices for all of its coated mechanical reels from July 1 , 2017.
South African Pulp and Paper Industries (Sappi) Limited was founded in 1936. The company is headquartered in Johannesburg. It is focuses on commodity paper products, pulp, chemical cellulose and forest and timber products for Southern Africa and export markets. In 2013, it was reported as the world’s largest producer of dissolving wood pulp.