Genomatica partners with Mitsubishi on bio-BDO

Mitsubishi Chemical and Genomatica are two busy bees this week as fresh from the presses, Genomatica just announced its joint venture partnership with Mitsubishi for the production of bio-BDO as well as other renewable-based chemicals.

The blog mentioned this week the possibility of Mitsubishi selling a 100% renewable-based polybutylene succinate (PbS) — made from succinic acid and 1,4 butanediol — and I guess this will come sooner than later with this latest partnership announcement coinciding along with Mitsubishi’s recent deal with BioAmber on bio-succinic acid supply and planned production in Thailand.

Geomatica said the two companies are looking to form a joint venture for commercial production of bio-BDO in Asia. I’ll check later if we can get any specific information (planned dates, capacity, etc.). Aside from bio-BDO, the companies are also planning to develop other bio-based chemicals.

Also in the press release, Genomatica mentioned Mitsubishi has also became one of its equity investor in the company’s recent $45m series C-1 funding round.

“Asia is the fastest‐growing chemicals market in the world and we see great potential to deliver bio‐based chemicals to this market as a growing complement to our current conventionally‐sourced chemicals. We believe that a strategic partnership with Genomatica will provide market‐leading economics and quality which will benefit both parties.” – Mitsubishi

With Genomatica’s demo facility in the US going to start this year and another demo facility being built in Europe, as well as companies such as Metabolix and UK engineering firm Davy Process Technology (in partnership with bio-succinic acid producer Myriant) also developing their own bio-BDO, this sector is definitely chugging along very nicely all over the world.

Check out my recent article about bio-BDO published for the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association (NPRA) supplement, which was distributed at their annual meeting in San Antonio, Texas, last March.

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