I’ve written a more comprehensive analysis of Covestro’s development of bio-based aniline at Tecnon OrbiChem’s September Biomaterials issue.
According to Covestro, about 5m tons/year of petro-based aniline is produced worldwide and the company is a leading producer with a capacity of about 1m tons/year, for use largely as a precursor for rigid polyurethane foam. Covestro has developed a 100% bio-based aniline using biomass feedstock. The company plans to further develop the new fermentation process together with partners from the University of Stuttgart, the CAT Catalytic Center at RWTH Aachen University, and Bayer AG.
Current petro-based aniline is derived from benzene. For the past few years, Covestro (formerly Bayer MaterialScience) has been very active in the development of bio-based materials and chemical intermediates.