BASF, Cargill, Novozymes to develop bio-based acrylic acid process

17 August 2012 09:27  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Germany’s BASF, US-based Cargill and Danish industrial biotechnology firm Novozymes have signed an agreement to develop an industrial biotechnology-based production process for acrylic acid from renewable raw materials, the three companies said in a joint statement on Friday.

Novozymes and Cargill have since 2008 collaborated to develop microorganisms that can efficiently convert renewable feedstock into 3-hydroxypropionic acid (3-HP), which is a possible chemical precursor to acrylic acid, they said.

The new agreement will see BASF joining the collaboration to develop the process for conversion of 3-HP into acrylic acid, the firms said.

“The company [BASF] plans initially to use the bio-based acrylic acid to manufacture superabsorbent polymers,” they said.

Currently, acrylic acid is produced by the oxidation of propylene derived from the refining of crude oil.

The annual global market volume of acrylic acid is around 4.5m tonnes with a value of $11bn (€8.91bn) at the end of last year, according to the statement.

The acrylic acid market has been growing at a rate of 4% per year, the statement added.

One of the main applications of acrylic acid is in the production of superabsorbent polymers that can soak up large amounts of liquid and are used mainly in baby diapers and other hygiene products.

It is also used in adhesive raw materials and coatings.

Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

($1 = €0.81)

By: Nurluqman Suratman

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.

Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.

Printer Friendly

Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.
ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)
ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index