Partnership, Processing, Products

More bio-succinic acid commercialization milestones

Hello blog readers. I know it has been awhile since I last posted and I have been trying hard but unfortunately, the Bio-Materials newsletter is my top priority these days (to supplement my shopping habits ha!) and I have also been tied attending several conferences last month. This month, I will be attending the ICIS Pan Oleochemicals Conference in Miami (October 16-17) and the World Bio Markets USA in San Diego (October 27-29). Follow my twitter account @DGreenblogger for live updates! But of course, it is better to be there in person.

And now for the bio-succinic acid news. I have already reported about Reverdia’s recent announcement on the licensing of its Biosuccinium technology last week.

BioAmber also announced this month that it has signed an exclusive 5-year supply agreement with polyester polyols producer, Xuchuan Chemical, based in China. Xuchuan operates 4 production facilities in China, with a total capacity of 150,000 tons per year. The market opportunity for bio-succinic acid at Xuchuan is several thousand tons per year, according to BioAmber.

The supply contract will run from 2015 to the end of 2019, where BioAmber Sarnia, a joint venture with Mitsui & Co., will ship bio-succinic acid from its Sarnia, Canada, facility, to Xuchuan’s Chinese facilities. Polyester polyols are used to produce a wide range of products including paints and coatings, polyester resins and synthetic leather.

Xuchuan is initially launching PU systems for cast polyurethane elastomers (CPU) made with bio-succinic acid in replacement of adipic acid. CPU is used in applications including automotive instruments, caster wheels, industrial and mining equipment, power tools, industrial tires, coating rolls, drive belts, mold makers and hoses.

Xuchuan said bio-succinic acid offers better properties such as more abrasion/scratch resistant and more resistant to solvents. The forecasted succinic acid volumes in the contract for this initial application are 300 to 500 tons per year. Xuchuan plans to expand its line of sustainable, bio-succinic acid based polyester polyols to other applications, including resins for shoe soles, coating and synthetic leathers. BioAmber projects the long-term sales potential to Xuchuan for these applications could be several thousand tons of succinic acid per year.

BioAmber said its bio-succinic acid is price competitive in the Chinese market. Xuchuan said it can now offer its Chinese customers and export markets a new generation of products that have superior performance and an improved carbon footprint

BioAmber’s Sarnia plant is expected to be completed in early 2015 and will have an initial capacity of 30,000 tons per year. BioAmber has signed take-or pay agreements that commit 50% of the output over the first three years of production, and has committed the balance of available capacity in 2016 and 2017 by signing 20 supply and distribution agreements.

Last month, Myriant announced its partnership with specialty chemicals distributor company, Azelis Group. Myriant appointed Azelis to distribute its bio-succinic acid in the Nordics, Benelux, France, Iberia, Italy, the UK and Ireland.  Myriant currently supplies bio-succinic acid from its 30 million pounds/year Louisiana facility. Not much information of course was in the press release but Azelis is a pretty big global distributor and it seems all the bio-succinic acid producers  now have very good distribution network so far based as seen below:


  • Azelis – Nordics, Benelux, France, Iberia, Italy, UK, Ireland
  • Sojitz – Japan, China, South Korea, Taiwan
  • Bayegan – Middle East, Eastern Europe, Africa


  • Vinmar
  • Mitsui


  • DSM
  • Helm – Europe


  • BASF

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 “More bio-succinic acid commercialization milestones”

  1. Very good and useful post, but I would have liked a little more, e.g., prices and a little bit of technology, like starting materials for bio-succinic & the patent situation.

    Posted by Dr. Sohan Khungar | October 8, 2014, 7:56 pm

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