Corrected: APLA '11: US Amyris to target natural rubber market for isoprene

08 November 2011 02:12  [Source: ICIS news]

Correction: In the ICIS news story headlined “APLA '11: US Amyris to target natural rubber market for isoprene” dated 8 November 2011, please read in the fourth paragraph … Amyris will produce isoprene through fermentation … instead of … Amyris will produce isoprene by using its C15 molecule farnesene ... A corrected story follows.

BUENOS AIRES (ICIS)--US-based renewable chemicals producer Amyris plans to target the natural rubber market for its renewable isoprene, a company executive said on Monday.

Under an agreement signed earlier this year, Amyris and French tyre producer Michelin will contribute funding and technical resources to develop Amyris's technology to produce isoprene from renewable feedstock.

Isoprene is the C5 monomer for natural rubber, which had been priced higher earlier this year, according to ICIS.

Amyris will produce isoprene through fermentation.

Demand for natural rubber is rising at a time when supplies could be constrained in the future, said Mario Portela, COO for Amyris.

Portela made his comments on the sidelines of the 31st Latin American Petrochemical Association (APLA) annual meeting in Buenos Aires.

More people in China and Latin America are buying automobiles, which is increasing demand for tyres, a large end market for natural rubber, Portela said.

Rubber plantations take several years to mature, he said. Much of the feedstock for synthetic rubber is derived from cracking naphtha.

These feedstock supplies have become constrained as the US switches to lighter cracker feeds.

The APLA meeting ends on Tuesday.

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

By: Al Greenwood
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