From car tires to Lego, ETB makes it more eco-friendly
‘We can make butadiene on a large scale and help the planet at the same time’
Noah Hirsch, CEO and Founder
LIOF supports this entrepreneur with:
ETB received grants from LimburgToekomstbestendig for several projects, like catalyst optimization and IP Strategy. Recently they received a financial injection from LIOF from the Limburg Startup Capital Fund. Noah: “We also participated in several networking events organized by LIOF. LIOF helped us to prepare our applications for the grant program and provide feedback on the business plan. Practical, valuable support.”
Een project van:
About ETB Global
ETB has a solution to produce butadiene based on bio-ethanol in an efficient and energy-efficient process. They are a startup enabling bio-plastic and bio-rubber for life and industry.
“Imagine that if our process becomes widely adopted, we could help the planet save more than 30 million tons of CO2 every year. To put this into perspective, we would need to reforest a larger area than Canada to achieve a similar level of environmental impact.”
LIOF and ETB
Butadiene is a kind of gas. It is an important ‘ingredient’ for plastics and rubber, for example car tires or Lego blocks. ETB latched on to this material with one main goal: to produce butadiene in a more sustainable way.
Noah Hirsch, CEO and Founder, and Ernest Lempers, CFO and Co-founder, are very clear about their mission: “Our aspiration is to be the leading provider of the most economical route to ‘decarbonized bio-butadiene’. This means butadiene is 100% bio-based and releases a minimum amount of carbon emissions into the environment.”
What is butadiene exactly?
Butadiene is a key chemical building block that helps create things that make our lives easier, safer, and more enjoyable in today's world. It's a part of what allows us to have modern comforts and conveniences.
We can make butadiene on a large scale and help the planet at the same time.
12 million tons of butadiene per year
ETB has a solution to produce butadiene based on bio-ethanol in an efficient and energy-efficient process. Ernest explains this is a bit further: “Right now, most butadiene comes from oil. Harmful for the environment. Our method uses renewable plant sources. A more environmentally friendly method, releasing less net carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.”
Noah: “The work we've done so far makes us optimistic that our patented one-step route of making butadiene from plant-based ethanol is the best way to make butadiene on a large scale - and help the planet at the same time. For a market that needs 12 million tons of butadiene every year ...!”
ETB is a clever start up …
… so they made sure to involve LIOF from the start. “We reached out to LIOF early 2021. At that time, we were in the process of refining our processes when Hugo Delissen, Business Developer at Brightlands Chemelot Campus, informed us about the opportunity for financial support from LIOF for these developments.
Practical, valuable support
LIOF provided practical, valuable support
In the next 2.5 years, ETB received grants from LimburgToekomstbestendig for several projects, like catalyst optimization and IP Strategy. Recently they received a financial injection from LIOF from the Limburg Startup Capital Fund. Noah: “We also participated in several networking events organized by LIOF. LIOF helped us to prepare our applications for the grant program and provide feedback on the business plan. Practical, valuable support.”
Bi-weekly ‘business beats’
Ernest: “In 2022, LIOF pointed out to us the opportunity of the Green Chemistry Accelerator (GCA). An acceleration program for start-ups and scale-ups in green chemistry to prepare for the next big investment round. After being selected, Martine Rousseau, Business Developer at LIOF, joined us on this program’s journey. During bi-weekly ‘business beats’ we talked about our progressions and drawbacks. We also really enjoyed the networking opportunities provided by the Green Chemistry Accelerator. This gave us the chance to share our challenges and lessons learned with other pioneers in the green chemistry.”
Noah: “Needless to say, LIOF is not just an investor for us; they are also a close and transparent supporter who is always there to help. We can count on LIOF to give us honest feedback and advice on how to improve and get ready for the market and talking to investors. Martine Rousseau, business developer at LIOF, has been a great help and sparring partner in this regard.”
LIOF is more than an investor: an honest supporter who is always there to help us.
Big steps, strong passion
Ernest and Noah are very proud how far they’ve come. “Since first contacting LIOF, we grew from a start-up with technology proven on a lab scale, to an organization with many partners. We’ve focused on the market development, both up and down the value chain - securing future supply and demand. But also, on the business. We will continue to work with the same, if not stronger passion.”
There are no bad outcomes
The unflagging energy of the entrepreneurs is infectious. For those who are also keen to do business in a more sustainable, smarter way, they have the following advice: “Take the risk, have the courage and move forward. The journey of a start-up is a bumpy one, but so is the upside. There are no bad outcomes. In any case, you will either build a great company for the benefit of society or gain invaluable experience to try again and succeed. Jump!”
This testimonial was produced in October 2023
Photography: Ron Wiersma, Maastricht