Bio-based chemicals take another step forward

Novozymes apple.pngNovozymes, the bio-innovation company, have kindly sent the blog news of their new fungus. They believe it can potentially lead the way to the development of bio-based petrochemical products.

Novozymes chosen route is to develop products based on malic acid. This occurs naturally in fruit and many vegetables. It also belongs to the group of C4 dicarboxylic acids.

This linkage is key to the development, as these can be converted to BDO (1.4-butanediol). In turn, BDO is a potential building block for plastics, polymers and resins.

The development confirms the insights from the SpecialChem brainstorm on bio-based initiatives in August 2010. It also builds on Novozymes’ own partnership with Braskem on polypropylene.

As Novozymes note, “the contribution of biotechnology is still modest in the chemical industry”. But the new fungus is clearly an important step forward in turning ideas into new products.

About Paul Hodges

Paul Hodges is Chairman of International eChem, trusted commercial advisers to the global chemical industry. Paul is also an invited member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council. The aim of this blog is to share ideas about the influences that may shape the chemical industry over the next 12 – 18 months. It will try to look behind today’s headlines, to understand what may happen next in important issues such as oil prices, economic growth and the environment. We may also have some fun, investigating a few of the more offbeat events that take place from time to time. Please do join me and share your thoughts. Between us, we will hopefully develop useful insights into the key factors that will drive the industry's future performance.

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