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Polyphenols from paper and pulp processing could offer nutraceutical benefits for humans and are already making a dent in the ag sector.

About two million people die every year from diarrhea, a high number of them children.

And toxic aflatoxins, which are naturally occurring metabolites produced by various fungi species, are a pervasive problem in India.

Lausanne, Switzerland-based GreenValue thinks it has a cleantech product that could help combat such health issues, and it is already making headway in the agricultural sector. The company is focused, as its name implies, on extracting value in the form of natural polymers captured from vegetable biomass, in what it says is a cost efficient way.

Its products comes from lignins, or polyphenols, located in the cell walls of plants, which can be removed from pulp and paper production activities. The extraction process uses hydrolysis, he said, without divulging details of the proprietary patented technology.

The whole trick is how to recover only specific portions of the polyphenols.

In 2004, GreenValue secured a joint venture with Indian paper company ABC Paper, which also invested an undisclosed amount in the company. GreenValue has been extracting raw materials from ABC Paper’s processes at its first polyphenol recovery production facility in Punjab to treat ABC’s effluents, Barakat said.

The facility is capable of recovering 5,000 to 6,000 tons of polyphenols a year from sources such as wheat, straw, bagasses and sarkanda grass. The process reduces the load of the pulping effluent by 50 percent and makes it easily biodegradable, he said.

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