Metabolix obtains two US patents for bio-based polymer production

25 April 2012 16:14  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Metabolix has been awarded two US patents for the production of bio-based polymers and industrial chemicals, the US renewable chemicals and plastics firm said on Wednesday.

Metabolix said the patents, which were awarded by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), cover a process that enables the company to engineer microbes and plants to accumulate unique bio-based monomers and polyhydroxalkanoate (PHA) polymers inside their cells.

The PHA polymers could then be extracted and used as bio-plastics, or they could be converted into chemical intermediates,, the company said.

One patent is for the production of a series of new PHA compositions using genetically engineered microbial strains.

The other patent, titled “Polyhydroxalkanoate Production from Polyols”, makes possible the creation of genetic constructs to make bio-based 3-hydroxypropionic acid in microbial and crop plant systems, the company said.

This patent describes the use of polyols, including glycerol and sugars, as alternate, renewable feedstocks.

Metabolix added that 3-hydroxypropionic acid is useful for the production of PHA polymers and C3 chemicals, including bio-based acrylic acid, malonic acid, esters and amines.

“We firmly believe that the pace of adoption of chemicals made from renewable resources will rapidly accelerate throughout this decade,” said Metabolix's CEO Richard Eno.

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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