Big green chemical news

Again, my apologies for the sparse blog. Too many things going on with work and school. As you’ve probably seen by now, I am currently here in Arlington, Virginia, to blog live at the BIOPLASTEK Conference. The session will start soon but in the meantime, here are news that came up within the past 24 hours from OPX Biotechnologies, BioAmber and Myriant.

OPXBio said it was able to successfully demonstrate its fermentation process for producing bio-acrylic acid in a 3,000-liter scale. The company has been working with the Michigan Biotechnology Institute for the scale-up.

OPXBio uses microorganism to biosynthesize 3-HP by fermentation of sugar and subsequent dehydration of the 3HP to acrylic acid.

Speaking of bio-acrylic acid, Myriant announced its formal entrance into the bio-acrylic acid space as it filed a US patent for its bio-acrylic acid process. Myriant said it will immediately initiate scale-up activities to provide samples to customers in the second half of 2012.

According to Myriant, worldwide of supply of propylene has become more strained leading to volatility of petroleum-based acrylic acid.

Last but not the least, BioAmber said it has scaled up its hydrogenation catalyst technology licensed from DuPont to convert multi-ton quantities of bio-succinic acid into bio-based 1,4 butanediol (BDO), tetrahydrofuran (THF) and gamma-butyrolactone (GBL).

BioAmber noted that it has successfully completed a bio-1,4-BDO production campaign in collaboration with a leading commercial catalyst suppliers and a toll manufacturer processing large-scale hydrogenation reactors and distillation columns. I’ll try to do some research on who are these catalyst suppliers and toll manufacturer when I get the chance.

In the meantime, BioAmber noted that it is developing an integrated plant engineering design that will combine the production of bio-succinic acid and bio-BDO on a single site.

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