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Emerson to automate Origin Materials’ new carbon-negative materials plant

Nov. 9, 2022
Plantweb digital ecosystem will help Origin convert renewable wood residues into chemicals for diverse applications.

Emerson announced a memorandum of understanding with Origin Materials, Inc., a carbon-negative materials company, to provide advanced digital automation technologies and consulting services for Origin’s first world-scale manufacturing facility, Origin 2. Emerson has already supplied automation for Origin’s first commercial facility, currently under construction in Sarnia, Ontario.

Emerson’s will enable Origin Materials, based in West Sacramento, California, to fully automate its pioneering production process at Origin 2, they note. The plant, to be constructed in Geismar, Louisiana, is expected to convert about 1 million dry metric tons of wood residues each year into carbon-negative materials for applications that include polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic and carbon black.

Origin’s platform technology turns the carbon found in sustainable wood residues into useful carbon-negative materials for a wide range of end products, including clothing, textiles, plastics, packaging, car parts, tires, carpeting, and toys, representing a more than $1-trillion total addressable market.

“We’re excited to partner with Emerson, a company known to enable operational excellence through advanced digital automation technology,” said John Bissell, co-chief executive officer of Origin Materials. “Using intelligent sensors, simulation, and data analytics modeling software we will drive productivity rates as we scale our business to meet the tsunami of global demand for sustainable materials.”

The Origin 2 plant, expected to be operational in 2025, will use Emerson’s Plantweb digital ecosystem, which includes intelligent sensors and control valves, production optimization systems, advanced data analytics software, modeling and simulation technology, distributed control systems and secure networking.

“Leveraging a digital engineering strategy from the start will help bring bold, visionary concepts like plant-based plastics to market faster, helping accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy,” said Mark Bulanda, executive president of Emerson’s Automation Solutions business.

“With new decarbonization technologies, it’s essential to be able to develop and scale innovative production methods with minimal risk and the greatest efficiency possible. Our collaboration with Origin is an exciting step toward realizing the benefits of net-zero manufacturing for a more sustainable future,” Bulanda added.