Partnership, Processing, R&D

More bio-butadiene partnerships

Two exciting news just came out this week regarding bio-butadiene.

Braskem and Genomatica announced this morning their joint development agreement on a commercial process technology to make bio-based butadiene from renewable feedstock. The companies did not say what kind of feedstock they are looking to start with. The press release did not really give a lot of specifics on the project including any timelines.

According to the press release, Braskem anticipates to work on this development with Genomatica over several years. Braskem will provide significant funding and R&D sources. Braskem is also expected to fund the construction and operation of pilot and demonstration-scale butadiene production plants using the process.

In return, Braskem will receive certain exclusive license rights to use the resulting process technology in the Americas. Genomatica will also receive fees and royalties for each licensed commercial plants. Braskem claims to be the world’s third largest producer of butadiene.

As blog readers should recall, Genomatica has a bio-butadiene joint venture with Italian chemical company Versalis, which will license a complete end-to-end process for on-purpose production of butadiene from non-food biomass across Europe, Asia and Africa.

Another recent news is European rubber tire manufacturer Michelin and its “BioButterfly” bio-butadiene production project. Michelin announced this week that it has partnered with Tereos, the world’s fourth-largest sugar producer, to create a structured chain ensuring long-term supply of biomass on an industrial scale for Michelin’s bio-butadiene project.

Michelin announced in early November that that it has partnered with European research organizations, Axens and IFPEN (IFP Energies nouvelles), to develop and bring to market a process for producing bio-butadiene called “BioButterfly” process.  The partners also committed to laying the groundwork for a future bio-sourced synthetic rubber industry in France.

BioButterfly is backed by a EUR52 million budget extending over 8 years.  IFPEN will bring to the project its expertise on industrial processes and catalyzers, and Axen its process engineering and marketing of new technologies.

The project aims to produce a cost-competitive bio-butadiene into the market, manufacture high-performance synthetic rubber and adapting the process to all uses of bio-butadiene, lower investment costs, and prepare the future French bio-sourced synthetic rubber industry.

Tereos claims to have developed extensive expertise in an array of technological channels involving beets, cereals, and sugarcane, and has also engaged in several projects to develop second-generation alcohol production technologies.

As the blog has mentioned before, there had been several partnership announcements lately in the bio-butadiene field which also includes the following:

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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