Biotechnology company Radient Technologies has opened a 20,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in south Edmonton, where it plans to zap plants such as flax with microwaves to extract compounds for use in cosmetics.
According to the company, the new Canada based facility is capable of processing up to five tonnes of biomass a day and comes after 13 years of testing and piloting which saw the firm move from Vancouver and Toronto to Edmonton back in 2009.
The patented microwave assisted technology Radient uses extracts compounds from plants, including algae, flax and rosemary for cosmetics and various other industries.
When a plant is under this technology, water molecules within the biomass absorb most of the energy so pressure builds up within the cells and the ingredients are driven into a surrounding solvent.
This process is claimed to be faster, cheaper and more efficient than conventional extraction, which involves soaking, heating and filtering.
According to chief technology officer Steven Splinter the reason behind the move to south Edmonton is because; “There’s proximity to biomass, availability of highly qualified people and quite a growing cluster of bio-based companies in Alberta that can serve as potential partners.”
Influx of investment in plant extraction
Alban Muller recently invested €2 ($2.72) million in a plant extract zeodration technology.
Specialized in naturals, the services company has been the partner of beauty and health industries since 1978 and has in an effort to become more sustainable, invested in a new drying facility for plant extracts by zeodration.
According to the company, despite being equipped with zeodration since 2002, this technology presents several advantages such as a low temperature drying process that preserves the activity of the molecules extracted while consuming little energy resulting in a better carbon footprint.
"This completely computerized tool will also enable a perfect monitoring of the drying parameters and of their record by batch (state, pressures, temperatures…) and thus, of the product quality and reproducibility.