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Biobased Chemicals: Commerical Focus

J. van Walsem, M. Senechal
Metabolix, Inc, US

Keywords: fermentation, C4, butanediol value chain, acrylates


Metabolix’s Chemicals Platform Metabolix has developed a leading position in producing Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) through fermentation. The next commercial platform from Metabolix is biobased chemicals utilizing the fermentation process developed to create PHAs as the starting point followed by conversion to a range of chemicals, including important C3 and C4 chemicals. • Today, C4 chemicals within the butanediol value chain and acrylates (C3) are produced from fossil-based hydrocarbons and are used to make: Spandex fibers Polyurethanes Engineering resins Personal care products Coatings Super-adsorbent polymers • Biobased chemicals allow us to address the global market demand for products and processing by reducing dependence on petroleum-based feedstocks, reducing greenhouse gas emissions during production and, ultimately sequestering CO2 within the product. • Metabolix is creating a technology platform that will enable production of a range of important industrial chemical intermediates, using a common fermentation and recovery process. This promises to reduce the time to market, creating competitive advantage for Metabolix and its commercialization partners. The initial commercial focus is on the specialty C4 chemicals used in the pyrrolidones value-chain. Technology developments to address the large butanediol and acrylics markets are progressing in parallel, creating a very attractive growth path.
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