US Amyris and tyre major Michelin to develop renewable isoprene

28 September 2011 16:03  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US renewable chemicals firm Amyris and French tyre major Michelin have agreed to develop and market renewable isoprene, Amyris said on Wednesday.

Under the agreement, Amyris and Michelin will contribute funding and technical resources to develop Amyris’s technology to produce isoprene from renewable feedstocks. Financial details were not disclosed.

In addition, Michelin is “committed to off-take volumes on a ten years basis”. At the same time, the agreement will allow Amyris to market its renewable isoprene to other customers, it said.

Amyris expects to begin to commercialise renewable isoprene in 2015 for use in tyres and specialty chemical applications such as adhesives, coatings and sealants, it said.

Amyris’s technology can convert plant-based sugars into isoprene, a main ingredient in the production of synthetic rubber, it said.

Isoprene has traditionally been produced as a by-product of the thermal cracking of naphtha to produce ethylene or via C4 refinery stream synthesis.

However, as the petrochemical industry adjusts to cracking lighter feedstocks with the advent of North American shale gas, new sources of isoprene have become necessary, Amyris said.

Check out Doris de Guzman’s Green Chemicals blog for views on sustainability issues


By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653



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