Global Bioenergies, an industrial biology company developing sustainable routes to light olefins, and Synthos, a European leader in the rubber industry, today announce the discovery of a direct biological pathway to convert renewable resources into butadiene, a light olefin lying at the heart of the petrochemical industry.
Presently, 10 million tons of butadiene are produced each year from oil, representing a market exceeding $20 billion. 7 million tons are used to manufacture rubbers; 3 million tons are used to manufacture nylon, plastics and latexes.
In July 2011, Global Bioenergies entered into a strategic partnership with Synthos, a $1.2billion revenues European leader in rubber manufacturing. The agreement aimed at developing a process to convert renewable feedstock into butadiene.
The first phase of the partnership was dedicated to the discovery of metabolic pathways to convert renewable resources into butadiene through a direct, gaseous fermentation process.
This discovery phase has now been successfully accomplished: for the first time ever a direct biological route to butadiene has been experimentally proven. Several patents have been filed to protect these biological assets.
The success of this first phase triggered a €1.5million milestone payment to Global Bioenergies. The butadiene program now enters the development phase, for which Synthos will contribute several million euros in total through yearly fees.
Marc Delcourt, CEO of Global Bioenergies, commented: “After isobutene in 2010, and more recently propylene, butadiene is now the third molecule for which we obtained an experimental validation. We are resolutely building a pipeline of direct, gaseous fermentation processes to convert renewable feedstock into various light olefins. This success, validated by Synthos, a leader of industrial chemistry, strengthens the industrial position of Global Bioenergies”.
Tomasz Kalwat, Chairman of Synthos, stated: “The results obtained by Global Bioenergies in the discovery phase have been very convincing. We therefore renew our commitment to the partnership with Global Bioenergies. The development of an eco-friendly and cost attractive bio- sourced butadiene process will allow the manufacturing of a new generation of rubbers and will provide Synthos with a clear competitive advantage. ”
Global Bioenergies shall receive royalty payments from Synthos on bio-sourced butadiene used for the manufacturing of rubber. Global Bioenergies retains the exclusive rights for non-rubber applications, such as nylon, plastics and latexes, representing an existing market exceeding $6 billion.
Synthos S.A. is one of the largest manufacturers of chemical raw materials in Poland, as well as being Europe’s No. 1 manufacturer of rubber emulsions and third largest manufacturer of polystyrene for foaming applications. The company supplies advanced technological products of the highest quality.
About GLOBAL BIOENERGIES
Global Bioenergies is one of the few companies worldwide, and the only one in Europe, that is developing a process to convert renewable resources into hydrocarbons through fermentation. The Company initially focused its efforts on the production of isobutene, one of the most important petrochemical building blocks that can be converted into fuels, plastics, organic glass and elastomers. Global Bioenergies continues to improve the yield of its process and prepares the phase dedicated to pilot testing. The company recently replicated this success to propylene and butadiene and is also looking to continue with other members of the gaseous olefins family, key molecules at the heart of petrochemical industry. Global Bioenergies is listed on NYSE Alternext Paris (FR0011052257 – ALGBE).
Marc DELCOURT – Chairman and CEO
Thomas BUHL – Head of Business Development
E-mail : [email protected]
Corporate Communicating Manager
Phone: +48 338 473 203
E-mail: [email protected]
Source: GLOBAL BIOENERGIES, press release, 2012-12-06.