Dow Chemical might not be as loud as DuPont or DSM in their bio-based chemicals intent but they have been very active in investing in this area. In the plastics arena, Dow is still intent on producing sugarcane-based polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP). In fact, my colleague Anna Jagger wrote an excellent story about the company's strategy in this market.
But the big news here is Dow looking at the bio-acrylic acid developments and announced last week its intent to collaborate with bioacrylic acid developer OPX Biotechnologies (OPXBIO). Dow is a very big acrylic acid producer (and consumer) and it makes sense for the company to look into diversifying its sources.
By the way, supply of propylene - the main feedstock for petroleum-based acrylic acid - is currently very tight these day, according to ICIS. Acrylic acid capacity in the western markets is also constrained as no new capacity has been added in this region for the past few years -- read this excellent (free!) story on acrylates from ICB's March 25 issue.
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