US Genomatica expects bio gains in commodity production

30 January 2009 00:33  [Source: ICIS news]

SAN FRANCISCO (ICIS news)--US-based biochemical manufacturer Genomatica said on Thursday it expects bio-based processes will soon make headway in the production of commodity chemicals.

Citing Genomatica’s own recent breakthrough with bio-based 1,4 butanediol (BDO), chief executive Christopher Gann said that “Biomanufacturing is a key element in sustainability. It is a reality now, and market leaders in the chemical industry are already doing it,”

“We are seeing that the list of biomanufacturing activities is increasing,” said Gann, speaking on the sidelines of the InformexUSA conference.

In September last year Genomatica demonstrated a novel biomanufacturing process that can make thousands of tons of BDO.  

The company said that development established the feasibility of biomanufacturing a commodity chemical in a single facility.

The company uses bacteria tolerant to the concentrations needed to produce large volumes of BDO at a reduced cost.  Genomatica said it expects to reach commercial scale production of BDO with the process by 2013.

BDO is a key raw material for plastic, rubber and fibre products and is estimated to be a 2bn lbs/year market today valued at $3bn (€2.28bn), according to Gann.

($1 = €0.76)

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By: Feliza Mirasol
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