Arsenal midfielder Flamini could rake in billions for tackling climate change
He might be warming the bench at Arsenal these days, but Mathieu Flamini sure is putting his boot in to help stop climate change.
The tough-tackling French midfielder recently revealed that, unbeknown to his family and friends, he had co-founded a biochemical company seven years ago that has the potential to cut the world's dependence on fossil fuels and save the planet.
Together with his friend, economics graduate Pasquale Granata, the 31-year-old started GF Biochemicals – or Granata-Flamini Biochemicals – in Italy which specialises in producing levulinic acid.
According to the company's website, the organic compound derived from biomass can be used as a substitute for oil in a number of applications such as fuel, making cosmetics and for the synthesis of plastics.
GF is the first firm in the world with the capability to mass produce levulinic acid and are entering a market that is thought to be worth a staggering £20 billion ($43.3 billion) – a considerable upgrade from his wages at Arsenal where he is earning around £50,000 a week.
It is not clear how much the company has been making in the last few years.
Flamini revealed to The Sun that his revolutionary project began when he first left the Gunners in 2008 to join AC Milan, pumping his football wages to fund research by the Milan Polytechnic.
The Frenchman said: "For seven years I haven’t mentioned it to anyone. When I moved to Milan in 2008 I met Pasquale, who became a close friend and we always had in mind to do something together.
"I was always close to nature and concerned about environmental issues, climate change and global warming.
"He was on the same wavelength. We were looking at how we could make a contribution to the problem.
"After a while, we found out about levulinic acid. It's a molecule identified by the US Department of Energy as one of the 12 molecules with the potential to replace petrol in all its forms."
Yes, climate change, Mathieu Flamini is singling you out and he's coming to get you. PHOTO: REUTERS
Flamini addded: "Today we have several patents on LA. They give a real advantage.
"We are the first company – and the only one in the world – to produce LA on an industrial scale.
"We started production this summer. It comes from wood waste or corn waste etc.
"Yes, I invested a lot of money in this. It was a big risk. But to be successful you take risks. It was a challenge."
A footballer actually contributing to a scientific breakthrough to combat climate change – who'd have thought it?
Source: The Sun