Genomatica and Italy-based polyamide producer Aquafil announced yesterday their collaboration in the development of sugar-based caprolactam, a key raw material in the production of polyamide 6, using Genomatica’s bioprocess GENO CPL. According to the press release, caprolactam has a worldwide market of over 5m tons/year. Of course, I will report more about the current market situation including pricing, supply/demand and growth for caprolactam as reported by Tecnon OrbiChem experts in my incoming Biomaterials newsletter in February. I will also report on the newsletter the current market situation for polyamide 6, polyamide 6,6 and polyamide 6,10.
Genomatica said its GENO CPL process aims to provide an environmentally-friendly way to make caprolactam with better economics including for smaller-scale plants. Licensees of the process as well as their customers will reportedly be able differentiate themselves by offering a more sustainable bio-based product whose performance will be fully comparable with benzene-based caprolactam, and converters within the nylon supply chain will not require any machine or process adjustments.
Aquafil noted on the press release that consumers and manufacturers are looking for opportunities to play an active role in the circular economy and the Genomatica technology will enable to help the company achieve this.