Amyris, Braskem and Michelin announced today that Braskem is joining a collaboration already launched in 2011 between Michelin and Amyris. This collaboration was initiated to develop and commercialize renewable isoprene, sourced from various biomass as an additional sustainable pathway to produce isoprene.
Under the terms of the agreement, Braskem, Michelin and Amyris will work together to develop a technology to utilize plant sugars, such as those found in Brazilian sugarcane or cellulosic feedstocks, to produce renewable isoprene. Adding the expertise of Braskem, the largest petrochemical company in the Americas and global leader in the production of biopolymers, Amyris and Michelin will accelerate the industrialization of renewable isoprene.
Amyris will share its rights to commercialize the renewable isoprene technology developed under this collaboration with Braskem. Michelin will maintain certain preferential, but not exclusive, access to the renewable isoprene to be produced by this technology. The companies will not disclose details of the agreement, including the financial contributions of each party.
This joint project, with Amyris and Braskem, will give Michelin an additional sustainable sourcing channel for poly-isoprene for the production of quality tires, providing a high-performance, environmentally responsible material.
“With this new partnership, we join forces with Amyris and Michelin in the development of an innovative technology that strengthens our commitment to improve people’s lives, creating solutions through sustainable chemistry,” said Luciano Guidolin, Vice President for Polyolefins and Renewables of Braskem. With a proven track record in leading research in sustainable chemistry, Braskem has already an experience in the development of 100% renewable polyethylene.
“Braskem is an ideal partner to join our isoprene project with Michelin. They bring the right expertise and share in our commitment to transform the chemical industry through sustainable product innovation and superior performance,” said John Melo, President & CEO of Amyris. “Amyris has led the way in producing long-chain hydrocarbon molecules via fermentation, from anti-malarial drug precursors to long-chain hydrocarbon molecules used in cosmetic emollients and even fuels. Building on the success of this proven technology to produce tailored hydrocarbons, we are revolutionizing the way products are made, one molecule at a time,” concluded Melo.
“We are pleased to have a strong industrial partner join our ongoing collaboration with Amyris. Braskem’s chemical industry experience, coupled with Amyris’s biotechnology expertise, will support Michelin’s goal of addressing the long-term needs of the tire industry for sustainable sourcing with renewable chemicals,” said Jean-Christophe Guerin, Head of the Materials Division of Michelin.