InterviewUS INVISTA seeks more bio-based nylon feedstock

17 August 2012 21:06  [Source: ICIS news]

By Doris de Guzman

NEW YORK (ICIS)--US-based nylon producer INVISTA is looking to develop several other bio-based chemicals aside from bio-based butadiene (BD) as alternatives to petrochemical-based nylon feedstock, a company executive said on Friday.

INVISTA declined to comment on any other particular example of the bio-based nylon feedstock the company is currently working on.

“We’ve been pursuing opportunities in building out our own bio-based chemical development capabilities for a few years now,” said Bill Greenfield, vice president of nylon intermediates at INVISTA, in an interview with ICIS.

“We have hired a number of world-class PhDs and research scientists in the field of biogenetics and biochemistry. Our focus is on how we can create additional value and we can certainly see the potential of bio-based intermediates to cost-effectively produce chemicals as alternatives to petro-based materials,” he added.

INVISTA recently announced a partnership with US-based renewable chemicals firm LanzaTech on the development of carbon monoxide (CO)-based BD as a feedstock for its adiponitrile (ADN) production. ADN is an intermediate chemical in the manufacture of nylon 6,6.

The companies plan to start commercialisation of the bio-based BD using LanzaTech’s CO-based 2,3 butanediol (BDO) feedstock by 2016.

“We haven’t gotten far along as thinking about where we might deploy the technology or who will operate and produce the bio-based chemical,” said Greenfield.

“As we go further along in this collaboration effort, we will begin to explore how the technology will be commercialised and how to create the best value here,” he added.

INVISTA expects that LanzaTech’s technology for producing bio-based BD using the gas fermentation process will ultimately be cost effective for the company, said Greenfield.

“We think their approach is quite novel. The ability to potentially take CO that many people consider a waste product and convert it into highly valued chemicals – we think that’s unique,” he added.

INVISTA said it is continuously exploring opportunities, including in sugar fermentation-based chemicals.

“We are open to those routes if we feel that they could be cost-effective,” said Greenfield.

By: Doris de Guzman
+1 713 525 2653

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