InterviewDSM nears decision on new biosuccinic acid plant - video

08 October 2010 10:47  [Source: ICIS news]

By Will Beacham

LONDON (ICIS)--Dutch advanced materials group DSM will decide within 3-6 months if it will invest in a commercial scale biosuccinic acid plant, a top executive said late on Thursday.

Volkert Claassen, vice president white biotechnology, told ICIS that if approved, the plant would most likely be located in the US, Brazil or China - places with advanced agricultural capabilities and good existing biorefinery infrastructure.

“The capacity of the new plant could be anywhere from 5-15,000 tonnes/year depending not just on the market but what existing infrastructure is available. If we get approval then startup could be within a year,” he said.

If this venture was successful the next step would be to scale up to around 50,000 tonnes/year, he added.

Claassen was speaking on the sidelines of a press trip to the demonstration biosuccinic acid plant at Lestrem, near Lille, France.

It developed the plant in a joint agreement with French food ingredient group Roquette, which provides starch as a feedstock for the plant, which is located at one of its existing production units.

The biosuccinic acid plant has capacity of a few hundred tonnes/year and is already supplying small quantities to potential customers.

DSM says biosuccinic acid could be used in a large variety of existing petrochemical-based applications. It is working on derivatives which could be used to manufacture polyurethanes, plasticizers, coatings and resins, biopolymers and solvents.

DSM and Roquette are waiting for regulatory approval for a formal 50/50 joint venture, known as Reverdia, which will develop the biosuccinic acid business.

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By: Will Beacham
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