‘Innovation in bio-based chemicals flash talk session’ - In cooperation with BioVale

Time & Location

Thursday: 13.00 to 14.30, Stage 3

Session Host

Session Host: Dr Anna ZhenovaCEO Green Rose Chemistry

About this Session

BioVale’s ‘Innovation in bio-based chemicals’ flash talk session, hosted by Dr. Anna Zhenova, CEO Green Rose Chemistry, will showcase innovative research, entrepreneurs and SMEs offering a range of sustainable, low carbon, novel and drop-in bio-based products, processes, and services.

Speakers and organisations taking part in the flash talk session include:

  • Session host: Dr. Anna Zhenova, CEO – Green Rose Chemistry
  • Dr Fergal Byrne, CEO – Addible
  • Maria Garcia, CEO – Bindethics
  • Dr. Natalia Stawniak, CEO Nuspec Oil
  • Susan Brench, CEO – Starbons
  • Conor Wilson, Development Manager – Lixea
  • Dr. Andy West – Chief Chemist, Bio-Sep
  • Gareth Little, HVB Enterprise Fellow
  • Dr. Joyce Bennett, HVB Enterprise Fellow / Business Manager of MORF
  • Dr Harriet Berry, HVB Enterprise Fellow and CEO – Natural Compound Solutions (NATCOM)

Session Host:

Anna Zhenova, CEO Green Rose Chemistry (https://greenrosechemistry.com/)

Anna leads Green Rose Chemistry and works directly with clients to solve their green chemistry problems. During her Ph.D. at the University of York, she noticed the market need for high-quality, on-demand green chemistry research for industrial applications, and founded Green Rose Chemistry to meet it. Her Ph.D. research developed new applications for safe, bio-based solvents, combining state-of-the-art computational modeling and comprehensive experimental work, with a particular focus on polymers. Anna excels in translating academic expertise to real-world applications, and has a rather unscientific fondness for clear communication and polished graphics.

Green Rose Chemistry offers sustainable chemistry intelligence to help innovative companies develop truly green products and processes for a renewable, circular bioeconomy. Tap into our scientific and market expertise to save time, gain new partners and customers, and deepen your understanding of green science. Our expertise can help your company solve green chemistry problems, demystify sustainable science and find new opportunities.


Presentation titles, Speakers and organisations taking part in the flash talk session include:

Featured presentations & speakers

Dr Fergal Byrne

Dr Fergal Byrne

CEO - Addible Ltd

  • Presentation: ‘Addible’s “Solution” to Complex Waste Streams’

Speaker: Dr Fergal Byrne, CEO Addible Ltd (https://www.addible.co.uk/)

Bio: Safe sustainable solvents are becoming increasing important due to the high risk they can pose in a commercial setting. Fergal has designed, synthesized and scaled entirely new bio-based solvents to replace traditional ones, in particular replacements for toluene. He also designs green solvent formulations for plastic recycling, purification of materials, and extraction of valuable compounds.


Addible uses sustainable solvents for complex material recycling. A complex material is one that contains several components such as different types of plastic, foil or paper tightly bound together. Plastic additives may also be present to add further complexity. Effective recycling of such materials is an enormous challenge.

Addible’s patent-pending process separates each component of complex waste streams, acknowledging that each waste stream is different and must be treated as such. Furthermore, plastic additives are removed, allowing a virgin-quality polymer to be obtained. The result is a clean stream of recycled material that can be re-processed many times over.

Dr. Maria Garcia

Dr. Maria Garcia

CEO - BindEthics

  • Presentation: ‘Bio-adhesives of the future.’

Speaker: Dr Maria Garcia, CEO Bindethics (https://www.bindethics.com/)

Bio: Maria graduated from the National University of Ireland (Galway) before moving to The Netherlands to study a MSc in Organic synthesis. As a chemist Maria worked in startups, midsize- and large businesses having successful breakthroughs in the lab and creating sustainable products. Maria loves expanding the frontier of research creating products that will shape our future and clearly improve our lives on earth.


BindEthics are developing sustainable, bio-based adhesives that are nontoxic and have low environmental impact; providing a solution to a global problem. Their innovative Bio- adhesive can replace the formaldehyde-based glue used to make engineered wood that can be recycled and can be used in a circular, resource-efficient, economy. Our research advances with light speed to achieve the same physical properties, scalability and manufacturability of traditional adhesives.

Dr. Natalia Stawniak

Dr. Natalia Stawniak

CEO Nuspec Oil

  • Presentation: ‘Pioneering development of biodegradable and thermo-stable base oils for lubricant and chemical industry’

Dr Natalia Stawniak, CEO Nuspec Oil (https://nuspec-oil.com/)

Bio: Dr Natalia Stawniak obtained her PhD in Agriculture from the University of Reading. Formerly, she worked extensively on various R&D projects in the field of circular economy with regional SMEs, blue-chip companies and research institutes. In 2018, Natalia was awarded Enterprise Fellowship from the University of York, and since then she continues to develop her entrepreneurial skills as a member of Chartered Management Institute (CMI). Together with Boris and Ian, she co-founded Nuspec Oil to decrease pollution from mineral oil. At Nuspec Oil, she unlocks the value of vegetable oils through novel processing and building long-lasting partnerships with industry and academia.

Nuspec Oil

Nuspec Oil is a UK-based company focused on developing and manufacturing biodegradable base oils that replace toxic mineral oils in the production of Environmentally Acceptable Lubricants (EALs). Nuspec Oil uses proprietary feedstock and processing technique, which enable to unlock the value of vegetable oils in the production of marine and industrial lubricants. Nuspec Oil’s products offer superlubricity, biodegradability and renewability, no re-formulation and re-approval costs of finished lubricants and reduced carbon emissions by 80% per tone of the product.

Susan Brench

Susan Brench

CEO Starbons

  • Presentation: ‘One Step Isolation of APIs – Separation made Simple with Starbons’

Speaker: Susan Brench, CEO Starbons (https://www.starbons.com/)

Bio: Since 2018 Susan has successfully established a portfolio of interests building on the foundations of over 30 years’ experience in industrial strategic commercial management, stakeholder engagement, marketing and international business development. Working with clients across the globe including Europe, the USA, and Japan her expertise is derived primarily from working in the chemical manufacturing sector. She also has experience of working for 2 major financial institutions.

A Physical Natural Sciences – Chemical Engineering graduate from the University of Cambridge, Susan enjoys finding solutions to complex issues; being able to see the macro and the micro, the bigger picture and the detail.She truly and passionately believes in the importance of science & engineering, industry & manufacturing for building a more sustainable society. Mentoring of start up businesses is of keen interest, and in 2019 Susan took on the challenge of driving the green chemistry micro business, Starbons Ltd,  forwards to commercial success, where she is now CEO.


Starbons Ltd designs products made from biorenewable raw materials (polysaccharides), providing technical solutions tailored to the customer’s specific separation needs and end use application. Examples are active substance isolation, gas capture and precious metals recovery. Our aspiration – to become the leading disruptive technology and products company in the field of Specialty Separations.

Conor Wilson

Conor Wilson

Development Manager - Lixea

  • Presentation: ‘Converting under-utilised biogenic feedstocks into cost-effective inputs for the renewable chemical industry’

Speaker: Conor Wilson, Development Manager, Lixea (https://www.lixea.co/)


Lixea is an Imperial College London spin-out company developing an innovative biomass fractionation process using low-cost, environmentally friendly solvents, namely liquid salts or ionic liquids. The novel, patented process converts wood waste or agricultural residues into high-quality intermediates for sustainable (bio)chemicals, materials and fuels.

Dr. Andy West

Dr. Andy West

Chief Chemist - Bio-Sep

  • Presentation: ‘Innovative conversion of woody biomass to platform chemicals using ultrasound’

Speaker: Dr Andy West, Chief Chemist, Bio-Sep (https://bio-sep.com/)

Bio: Andy is the Chief Chemist for Bio-Sep, a company pioneering the use of ultrasonic processing to fractionate biomass into platform chemicals. He has worked in sustainable chemistry throughout his career, developing green technologies for a diverse range of sectors including recycling, wastewater treatment, pharmaceuticals, construction materials, energy and biomass processing. At Bio-Sep, he is leading all aspects of chemistry process development and chemical analysis.


The BioSep process converts woody biomasses efficiently, cleanly and economically into cellulose, sugars and lignin. It is environmentally friendly using recoverable organic solvents and low energy ultrasonics to break the chemical bonds, producing quality separated products for use as platform chemicals in a wide range of industrial and domestic applications.

Gareth Little

Gareth Little

HVB Enterprise Fellow

  • Presentation: ‘Extreme throughput enzyme evolution technology for the bioeconomy’

Speaker: Gareth Little, HVB Enterprise Fellow (https://www.highvaluebiorenewables.net/)-

Bio: Gareth is a High Value Biorenewables (HVB) Enterprise Fellow at the University of Nottingham with over 12 years’ biotechnology R&D experience. He is exploring commercialisation of a new enzyme evolution technology. Gareth graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2009 with a master’s degree in biochemistry and microbiology before doing a PhD in molecular microbiology at the University of Nottingham.

Dr. Joyce Bennett

Dr. Joyce Bennett

HVB Enterprise Fellow / Business Manager of MORF

  • Presentation: ‘MORF: browser-based bioinformatics for biomanufacturing’

Speaker: Joyce Bennett, HVB Enterprise Fellow and MORF Business Manager (www.MORF-db.org)

Bio: Joyce is the Business Manager of MORF, a web-based tool for analysing complex biological data. This software was developed for use on the IB catalyst funded DETOX project, which she managed. Joyce was awarded an Enterprise Fellowship to commercialise the software and spin out a company from the University of York. As well as project managing the DETOX project, Joyce has considerable experience project managing in the Industrial Biotech sector, in both academia and industry.


Dr. Harriet Berrry

Dr. Harriet Berrry

HVB Enterprise Fellow and CEO – Natural Compound Solutions (NATCOM)

  • Presentation: ‘Production of chemical reference standards from renewable by-products.’

Speaker: Dr Harriet Berry, HVB Enterprise Fellow and CEO – Natural Compound Solutions (NATCOM)

Bio: Dr Harriet Berry obtained her PhD in Plant Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from Royal Holloway, University of London. She has worked as a staff scientist since 2015, gaining vast expertise with carotenoids. She has led successful training schools on carotenoids and metabolite analysis at the university, with students attending from all over the world. More recently Dr Berry has been engaged in the initiation of NATCOM with Professor Paul Fraser. NATCOM is providing high-quality carotenoid reference standard, as well as training on handling and using carotenoids. At NATCOM she is exploring how to increase sustainability and has produced a range of natural plant-based carotenoids.

HVB Enterprise Fellows

The High Value Biorenewables Network (HVB) is a BBSRC Phase II Network in Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy. HVB actively promotes and facilitates collaboration between academia and industry in the Biorenewables sector. The Network works strategically to promote discovery, development and application of bio-based chemicals, tools and platform technologies; facilitate partnership and knowledge transfer between UK academia and industry; and provide inspirational leadership to the Industrial Biotechnology community in the UK.