I am taking a short break from writing an article for ICIS Chemical Business about bio-based chemicals for rubber manufacture, which is giving me a massive headache given the unfamiliarity of this industry.
Here’s a question for bio-butanediol (BDO) developers: How come nobody is mentioning the potential market for butadiene given the projected supply tightness of this C4 key raw material for synthetic rubber manufacture? I read that butadiene was once manufactured from BDO during World War II.
The blog will explore more about green rubber chemicals covering bio-isoprene (players include Genencor/Goodyear and GlycosBio), bio-isobutene (Gevo/Lanxess and Global Bioenergies) and renewable-based processing aids for rubber manufacture (Elevance/Hutchinson).
For now, let’s talk about OPXBIO’s recent $36.5m funding, Blue Marble Biomaterials’ new biorefinery and LS9′s several press releases within the past few days.
OPX Biotechnologies said on July 7 that it has raised $36.5m from a C-round financing, which will help accelerate the company’s bio-acrylic acid commercialization. Investors include US Renewables Group leading the financing, new investors DBL Investors, and existing investors Mohr Davidow Ventures, Braemar Energy Ventures, Altira Group and X/Seed Capital.
Missoula, Montana-based Blue Marble Biomaterials announced that it’s zero-waste chemical biorefinery, said to be the first in the US, is now operational. The facility will produce 72 tons/year of fine chemicals used primarily in the food, cosmetics and personal care markets. Only facility’s waste only include purified water and pellet fuel for wood-boilers, the company said.
The company has future plans to power its facilities using its own waste gas and pelletized solid waste in already on-site gasifiers. The facility uses a wide range of plant feedstocks.
According to CEO Kelly Ogilvie, Blue Marble is already in several Memoranda of Understanding with clients, including global chemical distributor Sigma-Aldrich, to bring their bio-based chemicals to the global market.
Finally, LS9′s media relations seem to be energized these past few days as they churned out three press releases in a row.
In July 4, LS9 announced that it has opened a new office in Sao Paulo, Brazil, with its subsidiary L29 Brasil Biotecnologia (LS9 BB). In July 7, the company said it has begun collaboration with MAN Latin America, an engineering and vehicles manufacturing company in Brazil, to test LS9′s renewable diesel UltraClean in both stationary engines and operational fleet vehicles.
The fatty acid methyl ester (or what is known as biodiesel) is said to have already achieved key parameters of B100 (100% biodiesel) based from US, European Union and Brazil standards.
In July 11, LS9 said it will now start its second phase of research with Chevron Technology Ventures to produce specific hydrocarbon products.Terms of the program were not disclosed.
[Photo of Blue Marble's Missoula facility]