30 September 2009

BASF and PURAC: Joint development of biobased succinic acid

Commercial production to start in spring 2010

BASF SE and CSM nv have announced the cooperation between their respective subsidiaries BASF Future Business GmbH and PURAC for the development of the production of biobased succinic acid. Both partners have been working on the development of the industrial fermentation and down-stream processing of biobased succinic acid and will start production of commercial quality and volumes in the second quarter of 2010.

BASF Future Business and PURAC form a strong partnership by combining their respective strengths in the technology development and application of biobased succinic acid. BASF is a global leader in intermediates, chemical building blocks and polymers. PURAC is the world leading producer of lactic acid and lactides from renewable feedstocks.

Using a fully equipped fermentation and down stream purification plant the partners will demonstrate the economical production of succinic acid on industrial scale using a highly innovative route on the basis of renewable substrate. In addition, the greenhouse gas CO2 will be used as a raw material and fixed during the highly efficient fermentation process, contributing further to sustainable development.

Biobased succinic acid will be applied as a monomeric building block in a variety of biopolymers, e.g. biodegradable polyesters. Furthermore, low cost succinic acid has high potential as a platform chemical and its downstream products. Both companies will work together in order to achieve manufacturing cost levels making biobased succinic acid competitive for a wide variety of novel applications.

“We are happy to partner with PURAC, the world leader of lactic acid production and an expert in fermentation and purification of biobased chemicals” said Dr. Thomas Weber, Managing Director of BASF Future Business GmbH. “Combining our competencies, we open the door to make biobased succinic acid a success story.”

“Through this biobased succinic acid collaboration we aim to add an important new monomeric building block to PURAC next to our lactide products” says Gerard Hoetmer, Chief Executive Officer of CSM. “This partnership has great potential because it leverages the combined strengths of two leading companies in their fields.”

Source: BASF SE, press release, 2009-09-30.

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