Company initiatives

BioAmber supplies bio-succinic acid in Europe

BioAmber just announced last week its partnership with Brenntag for the distribution of its biobased succinic acid and derivatives in the Americas, and now the company announced another distribution partnership, this time with IMCD Group, targeting markets in the Benelux, France, Iberia, Germany, Poland, South East Europe, Switzerland, the UK and Ireland.

The distribution deal will also target customers in the resins and coatings market. BioAmber estimates the addressable market for resins and coatings exceeds $500m. Bio-succinic acid can be used to replace adipic acid in polyester coating resins, powder coatings, unsaturated polyester resins (UPR) and polyester polyols used in urethane surface coatings. Bio-succinic acid can also replace or be used in conjunction with phthalic anhydride in UPR and alkyd resins.

BioAmber said IMCD is already distributing its Bio-SA biobased succinic acid as do Brenntag.

BioAmber currently produces biobased succinic acid at its Pomacle, France, demo facility, which has 350,000 liter fermentation capacity. The company has produced over 836 tonnes of biobased succinic acid in Pomacle since its inception in January 2010 up to end of March 2013. BioAmber is planning to start operation of its new 30,000 tpy plant in Sarnia, Canada, by 2014, under a joint venture with Mitsui.

BioAmber’s Pomacle, France, demonstration facility

The blog asked whether there are certain premiums attached to some of the Bio-SA products. Since bio-succinic acid is used in a wide range of applications including specialty applications such as personal care, and flavors & food, BioAmber said the pricing differential will be defined by the value of the product provides in each application.

According to the company’s recent quarterly earnings report, the company said its bio-succinic acid is cost competitive with succinic acid produced from oil priced as low as $35/bbl assuming corn price of $6.50/bushel. A $1 increase or decrease in the per bushel price of corn would result in just a 2.4 cents/pound change in the variable cost of BioAmber’s bio-succinic acid.

About Doris de Guzman

Will Green Chemistry save the world or is it hype? Doris de Guzman examines alternative processing, new technology, R&D and other sustainability initiatives aimed at preventing pollution; replacing ingredients; and using renewable feedstocks in Green Chemistry. She has been covering the oleochemicals market for 15 years and spread her beat to inorganics, biofuels and green chemistry.


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