The Plant Bottle Revolution

January 18, 2017
Hosted by Jim Lane

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Episode Description

Companies like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Suntory, Heinz, SeaWorld and Ford have embarked on the search for technology to make a durable, clear plastic bottle entirely from renewable resources. Recently, two technologies have emerged as potential winners. Suntory has invested in Anellotech and Coca-Cola has invested in Avantium. In today's program, we'll talk with Avantium CEO Tom van Aken and Anellotech CEO David Sudolsky to see how close we are getting to a clear plastic bottle that doesn't require petroleum to be taken from the ground, and doesn't add to global carbon emissions. Also, we'll look at what else these technologies can make — and the answers will surprise and delight you.

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TerraTech highlights new and sustainable products, companies and cutting-edge advances in the lab that are changing the way people dress, eat, drink, drive, build, package, protect, monitor, maintain and get well. Each week, TerraTech features segments on game-changing innovators and innovations, companies forming to bring new sustainable products to the market and new sustainable products appearing at the grocery store, pharmacy, home store, fuel pump, clothing store and online, as well as through business-to-business buying. TerraTech is broadcast live every Wednesday at 6 AM Pacific Time on the VoiceAmerica Variety Channel.

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Jim Lane

Jim Lane is the world’s most widely-read writer and broadcaster on the advanced bioeconomy, with more than 2 million readers, followers and viewers. He is news anchor of The Digest, the world’s most widely-read bioeconomy daily, and news anchor of BioChannel.TV. He has authored more than 8,000 articles, documentaries, and news segments profiling more than 1,000 companies that have new and sustainable products.

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Episode Directory

January 2017

  • 1/18/2017: The Plant Bottle Revolution Listen Now
  • 1/11/2017: The New Foods and How to Make them Faster, Better, Cheaper Listen Now

Tom van Aken


Tom holds a Master’s Degree in Chemistry from the Utrecht University in the Netherlands and worked at DSM from 1996 till 2002. At DSM he held commercial positions, primarily in DSM’s fine chemicals and life sciences business in the USA and the Netherlands. In 2002, he joined Avantium as VP of Business Development and became Chief Executive Officer of Avantium in 2005. At Avantium he led the company through the transition to become a focused chemical and cleantech company by divesting its pharmaceutical business and by the development of the YXY technology. View Guest page

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Kevin Chen, PhD, CEO, Crop Enhancement


Dr. Chen joined Crop Enhancement in November 2015, bringing over 15 years of operating experience in materials-centric technology companies spanning renewable energy, semiconductor devices, and telecom networking. Prior to Crop Enhancement, Dr. Chen served as EVP of the US Product Development Group of Hanergy, the largest privately held clean energy provider in China, where his team worked on wireless sensor systems for agricultural and industrial applications. Previously, he was with the Energy and Environmental Solutions business of Applied Materials, the market leader in manufacturing equipment for the semiconductor, display, and solar industries, as CMO and then later as GM of the Energy Storage Solutions business. View Guest page

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David Dodds


As President of Dodds & Associates, David Dodds brings clients 30 years of experience at the interface of chemistry and biotechnology, and over 25 years experience building and leading multi-disciplinary scientific teams in Biotechnology and Chemical Process Development organizations.
With a Ph.D. in organic chemistry, post-doctoral work in molecular biology, and industrial experience combining organic synthesis, biotechnology, biocatalysis, plus natural product fermentation and downstream processing, he provides a unique combination of skills.
Within both start-up and big pharma organizations, he has a record of successfully bringing together scientific disciplines in project teams, teams that have created new process technologies with real commercial value. View Guest page

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David Soane, PhD, CTO, Crop Enhancement


Dr. Soane is a serial entrepreneur and prolific innovator in the fields of polymer chemistry and nanotechnology. At Crop Enhancement, he spearheads the company’s creative problem-solving to provide novel answers for difficult industry problems. Applying nanotechnology and chemical engineering to a variety of mature industries, he has founded a number of successful companies: ACLARA (NASDAQ:ACLA), a manufacturer of diagnostic test products; Nano-tex, a manufacturer of textile materials that have been licensed by L.L. Bean, Eddie Bauer and many others; 2C Optics, an eyeglass lens manufacturer; ZMS, a contact lens manufacturer; and ICBM, a building materials and wallboard producer. Before his commercial ventures, Dr. Soane was a tenured Professor of Chemical Engineering at UC Berkeley. View Guest page

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David Sudolsky


David Sudolsky, who co-founded Anellotech with George Huber, secured the initial angel funding for the company, recruited the management team and scientific advisory board, and is leading the expansion of the company. Prior to joining Anellotech, he was a business officer or CEO of five biotechnology, specialty pharmaceutical and bioprocessing start-ups, one of which (Dura Pharmaceuticals) was sold for $1.8 billion. David has hands-on chemical engineering experience in process design and refinery plant startups with Union Carbide, and work at Booz, Allen & Hamilton. He and his wife, Marcia, are firm believers in environmental education and led a successful five-year effort ending in 2011 to build a multi-faceted Eco Center on the roof of P.S. 6 in New York City. David attended Columbia University and earned an MBA in Marketing and Finance from the University’s Business School and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering. View Guest page

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Will Thurmond, author, Algae 2020


Will Thurmond is the founder of Emerging Markets Online, a market research and consulting services firm serving the needs of clients in biofuels, oil, gas, government, R&D, and economic development initiatives. Mr. Thurmond is frequently a keynote speaker at industry conferences, and is the author of Algae 2020 and Biodiesel 2020: A Global Market Survey. Mr. Thurmond has contributed original articles, data, interviews cited in the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Forbes, BusinessWeek, Biofuels Digest, Renewable Energy World, and Futurist Magazine; was titled "Mr Biodiesel" by Fox News Radio's "Energy Week"; and has been featured in TV interviews with Reuters, Fox, CNN, BBC, and NPR's MarketPlace. View Guest page

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