US Rennovia to start commercial bio-adipic acid production in '14

15 September 2010 18:54  [Source: ICIS news]

BOSTON (ICIS)--US start-up company Rennovia plans to begin commercial production of its bio-based adipic acid by 2014, chief executive Robert Wedinger said on Wednesday.

Capacity of the plant will be 300m-500m lb/year (140,000-230,000 tonnes/year), Wedinger said during a presentation at the Biobased Chemicals East conference in Boston.

“We are already seeking scale-up and commercialisation partners across the adipic acid value chain,” Wedinger said.

“We were able to demonstrate gram-quantity production of carbohydrate-based adipic acid, which is our first product, within three months of initiating research in December 2009,” he added.

The company is moving into lab-pilot stage in December. A demonstration facility is targeted in 2012 via partnerships.

Rennovia, which was founded last year, is targeting large-volume chemicals that are several steps from the refinery, he said.

“This minimises pound-to-pound conversion losses and enables competitive production from existing carbohydrate feedstocks,” Wedinger added.

Rennovia estimated the global adipic acid market at 4.8bn lb/year with aggregate growth rate of 3-5%.

Major end use for adipic acid includes nylon 6,6, adipate esters and polyurethanes.

Rennovia’s adipic acid process will use glucose, which will be then converted to glucaric acid via chemo-catalytic processing. The glucaric acid is converted to adipic acid with water as a byproduct.

Rennovia noted preliminary cost for their process is estimated to be below cash cost of current petroleum-based adipic acid processing, which uses cyclohexane.

Doris de Guzman examines alternative processing, new technology, R&D and other sustainability initiatives in Green Chemistry
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