Partnership, Processing, Products, R&D

LanzaTech, SK Innovation in bio-butadiene

The blog has featured SK Innovation before about its carbon its carbon dioxide-based polypropylene carbonate (PPC) under the trademark Green Pol. The last I heard about this product is that SK Innovation will supposedly start commercial production of its PPC around 2013-2014.  I guess it’s time to contact SK Innovation again about its Green Pol products.

In the meantime, the company just announced its partnership with LanzaTech on the development of a new process technology for the production of carbon monoxide-based 1,3 butadiene. SK Innovation will work with LanzaTech to develop and integrate this new technology with LanzaTech’s gas fermentation process, which converts industrial waste gas and on-purpose syngas derived from the gasification of wastes into fuels and chemicals.

The development work will be carried out at SK Innovation’s research center in Dae Jon, Korea.

LanzaTech has another ongoing project on carbon monoxide-based 1,3 butadiene with nylon producer Invista. Butadiene is a raw material for the manufacture of rubber but it can also be used as feedstock for the production of adiponitrile, an intermediate chemical used in the manufacture of nylon 6,6.

With Invista, LanzaTech initially plans to convert carbon monoxide (CO) to 2,3 butanediol (2,3 BDO), and then subsequently convert it to 1,3 butadiene (BD) using gas fermentation. Longer term, the companies plans to produce CO-based BD directly using a single step process via gas fermentation.

LanzaTech and INVISTA plan their bio-BD commercialization using the 2,3 BDO route to BD by 2016.

According to LanzaTech, the bio-butadiene development with SK Innovation will also use the 2,3 BDO route. LanzaTech has already been able to produce carbon monoxide-based 2,3 BDO on a pilot scale. LanzaTech has partnered with US-based Orochem Technologies in the development of a separation route that can economically convert 2,3 BDO into 1,3 BD using a thermocatalytic process.

As the blog previously mentioned in other bio-butadiene posts, some of the companies involved in bio-butadiene development include Genomatica (in joint venture partnership with Versalis); Cobalt Technologies in partnership with two Asian chemical companies; Global Bioenergies in partnership with rubber manufacturer Synthos; and Amyris’ partnership with Kuraray to develop farnesene-based polymers that can replace petroleum-based butadiene and isoprene feedstock.

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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