July 28, 2009

BIO Day 2 - Succinic acid, enzymes, ethanol

Developments in the bio-succinic acid market was my main highlight for Day 2 at BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioprocessing event held in Montreal. But before I delved into that, my attention was caught by Genencor's presentation of sustainability in textile manufacturing during the breakfast plenary session (which by the way started at 7:15 am).

According to Gled Nedwin, Genencor's vice president of technical enzymes, the global textile and garment processing chemicals market in 2007 was estimated at $18bn. Dye chemicals account for $8.7bn while desizing, bleaching/scouring, and finishing account for the rest of the market.

Among these, said, Nedwin, 99% of materials used are chemicals and only 1% are enzymes.
"There is definitely a significant untapped potential for enzymes to replace chemicals in this market," said Nedwin. "Genencor's textile strategy is replace chemical processes with sustainable biotech solutions through our PrimaGreen enzyme portfolio."

The PrimaGreen products, according to Nedwin, can lower processing temperatures, lower water, waste and carbon dioxide emissions, replace harsh chemicals, and decrease water consumption.

Back to bio-succinic acid, three competitors - Myriant, Bio Amber (through the DNP Green Technology and ARD joint venture), and DSM/Roquette, are gearing up on which one would first commercialize the product. Succinic acid, currently produce via petroleum processing route, is an intermediate chemical with applications ranging from deicers, plastics, resins, solvents and fuel additives.

These companies are expecting to construct large-scale commercial manufacturing facility for bio-succinic acid around 2011. As I have tons of info on these three presentations, I am separating them for another post (yes, another teaser I know...).

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