Cargill and Helm to build renewable BDO plant in Iowa

Author: Jonathan Lopez


LONDON (ICIS)--Cargill and Helm are to build a 1,4-butanediol (BDO) plant that would save up to 93% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions compared with current production technologies, the US agri-food major and German chemicals producer said on Tuesday.

The two companies expect to invest a combined $300m in the construction.

The plant would be built at Cargill’s existing facilities in Eddyville, Iowa.

It is expected to produce 65,000 tonnes/year of BDO and would start up in 2024.

Cargill and Helm have set up a joint venture, named Qore.

They will use US biotechnology producer Genomatica's process technology to produce QIRA, the renewable BDO.

BDO is a chemical intermediate used in the production of polymers, solvents, and fine chemicals, and is widely used in the apparel, automotive, electronics, and packaging sectors.

“Made biologically through the fermentation of plant-based sugars, QIRA can save up to 93% of GHG emissions when replacing today’s widely used chemical intermediates made from traditional fossil sources,” they said.

QIRA can be used for making spandex and other polyester-based chemical fibres as well as biodegradable plastics, polyurethane [PU] coatings, sealants and artificial leathers, thereby improving their environmental footprint.”

Front page image: Satellite image of Cargill's facilities in Eddyville, Iowa
Source: Google Maps

Clarification: Re-casts paragraph six