US-based Itaconix commercializes itaconic acid for detergents

14 September 2010 05:25  [Source: ICIS news]

BOSTON (ICIS)--US start-up company Itaconix is now selling its itaconic acid as builders, chelant, stabilizer, dispersant and soil anti-redeposition in laundry and automatic dishwash detergents, the company’s CEO John Shaw said late Monday.

“We’ve been working with detergent formulators for the past 12 months on how to use polyitaconic acid (PIA) for their cleaning products,” said Shaw, in a presentation at the Bio-based Chemicals East conference in Boston.

“Our polyitaconic acid has significantly higher binding capacity compared to polyacrylic acid, polyaspartic acid, citric, ethylene diamine tetra acetate (EDTA) and trisodiumphosphate,” he added.

Polyitaconic acid, a water soluble polymer, is an attractive replacement to petroleum-based polyacrylic acid, according to Itaconix.

Potential global market for PIA is 1.65m tonnes/year with superabsorbent polymers (SAP) occupying 67% of the market; 3% adhesives, 9% dispersants; 6% water treatment; 11% detergents; and 4% for new SAP markets.

Current total global capacity of commercial itaconic acid production is estimated by Itaconix at 30,000 tonnes/year.

In order to displace polyacrylic acid, Itaconix said it must reach a production cost below $1.5/Kg using biomass feedstock.

PIA has been produced by Itaconix using commercial itaconic acid obtained by the fermentation of dextrose typically derived from corn or rice. Under such non integrated structure, PIA can be produced at a cost of $3/Kg.

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By: Doris de Guzman
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