July 29, 2009

Big bio-succinic acid potential

Now that I've filed my Energy Efficiency article for ICIS Chemical Business (watch out for that on August 17 issue!), I can now go back to blogging about my post coverage of last week's BIO World Congress on Industrial and Biotechnology conference in Montreal, Canada.

As previously mentioned in my last post, there seems to be a lot of anticipation brewing for the commercialization of the chemical building block bio-succinic acid. According to DSM's Will van den Tweel (business manager Bio-Based Chemicals and Fuels for DSM White Biotechnology), the US Dept. of Energy identified succinic acid as one of the best targets to develop through fermentation. DNP Green Technology president Jean-Francois Huc cited a recent Frost & Sullivan consulting report stating that succinic acid, lactic acid, 1,3 propanediol and glycerol as the top 4 platform molecules renewable chemistry.

Let's start with DNP's presentation, which has a joint venture company called Bio amber with French R&D company ARD. Bio amber will start in October its 2,000 tonne/year bio-succinic acid demo plant in Pomacle, France. DNP believes it will be the first to market bio-succinic acid and looking to start building a large-scale commercial plant by 2011.

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