Company initiatives, Investments

Bio-1,3 PDO market update

Photo source: DuPont

The blog saw this news about Lambert-Saint Louis International Airport (STL) claiming to be the first in the US to use a biobased de-icing fluid using Kilfrost DFSustain Type 1 bio-propanediol (PDO). The deicing operations were carried out by Airport Terminal Services, which serves several major airlines at Lambert and other airports across North America.

According to ATS, it currently de-ices 30% of STL commercial aircraft traffic. DFSustain is currently in use by major international carriers such as All Nippon Airways, Air New Zealand, and LATAM airlines. ATS claimed it has the ability to blend the deicing fluid specific to the local weather conditions through a Type 1 glycol blending system installed at Lambert.

“The next generation de-icing fluid and the new de-icing blending system are perfect examples of the types of iniatives we are encouraging of all of our Airport partners to undertake as we accelerate our sustainability program at Lambert,” said Lambert Director, Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge. “We hope and anticipate that this type of operation will grow at Lambert and be adopted at other airports in the U.S.”

Now the blog wants to know more about the biobased PDO and according to Kilfrost’ website, the company has been developing de/anti-icing products in partnership with biobased PDO producer DuPont Tate & Lyle (who else could it be??).

Kilfrost said the consumption of 1m liters of DFSustain made with DuPont Tate & Lyle’s Susterra Bio-PDO could potentially result in carbon reduction of 6,500 tonnes. Kilfrost said it is also working to develop a range of green fluids for the aviation, rail and specialty fluid industries.

The blog mentioned in previous post about bio-PDO that DuPont Tate & Lyle has around 140m lb/year (63,500 tonnes/year) Susterra Bio-PDO capacity in Loudon, Tennessee.

France-based METabolic EXplorer just announced last week that the company and its partner Malaysian biotech hub owner Bio-XCell are pushing ahead for their plans to construct a 50,000 tonnes/year biobased PDO facility in Bio-XCell’s site in Iskandar. The facility is expected to have an initial output of 8,000 tonnes/year using crude glycerol as feedstock.

The partners have site engineering issues and reportedly have reached an agreement to replace their present engineering company as well as adjust their contract before end of May in order to resume start of construction by September 2013.

According to the press release, the on-site analyses show only minor corrective measures are required in soil conditioning of the site and that this will not affect the schedule for resuming operations.

“The partners have defined different types of acceptable guarantee to be given, which under the new agreement, will not affect METabolic EXplorer’s cash position.”

METabolic EXplorer has also been developing biobased monopropylene glycol (MPG) also known as 1,2 propanediol, and recently bag its second funding worth EUR 980,000 from French Innovation funding agency OSEO under the BIO2CHEM green chemistry co-development project, for completing its second development milestone on biobased MPG.

METabolic EXplorer noted that the current MPG market is estimated at 1.96m tons and valued at EUR 2.6bn. MPG is used in the manufacture of resins, lubricants and cosmetics.

Going back to biobased 1,3 PDO, China-based consulting firm CCM International reported in January last year that Zhangjiagang Huamei Biomaterial Co., Ltd. was planning a 65,000 tonnes/year biobased PDO production plant in Changjiang River Chemical Industrial Park. The facility is also expected to produce PDO downstream products such as polytrimethylene terephthalate (PTT) resin made from bio-PDO and petroleum derived terephthalic acid — remember DuPont’s Sorona®?

Now, as some chemical industry insiders will probably tell you by now, it is hard to confirm or track down the current statuses of plant construction announcements coming from China. The blog, however, heard from CCM International that Zhangjiagang Huamei Biomaterial is now called Zhangjiagang Glory Biomaterial Co., Ltd. According to the company’s website, it already has a 65,000 tonnes/year biorefinery at the same location that can produce biobased 1,3 PDO and 2,3 BDO.

CCM reported in January that Glory Biomaterial, has been the domestic cooperative partner of DuPont in producing DuPont Tate & Lyle’s Sorona®. Glory Biomaterial reportedly invented its own production technology of producing biobased 1,3 PDO using glycerol as feedstock unlike DuPont’s technology which uses corn starch.

CCM revealed that the contract between Glory Biomaterial and DuPont expired in April 2012. As of January 2013, Glory Biomaterial is said to have entered pilot production for biobased 1,3 PDO via a 20,000 tonne/year production line. According to the CCM report, Glory Biomaterial’s biobased PDO production patent has extraction rate of 92% of PDO from fermentation broth.

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.


One Response to “Bio-1,3 PDO market update”

  1. This is a welcome novelty covered, with many related news on glycerol-based green chemicals, in the new e-book “Glycero: The Platform Biochemical of the Chemical Industry”, due for publication later this week.

    Posted by Mario Pagliaro | March 18, 2013, 4:37 pm

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