Industry News

BioAmber Collaborates with JM Davy to Construct BDO/THF Plants for Paints Industry

Published on 2015-04-10. Author :

MINNEAPOLIS, MN -- BioAmber Inc., one of the industrial biotechnology company producing sustainable chemicals, announced that it has entered into a technology license with Johnson Matthey Davy Technologies (JM Davy). The licensing package will enable BioAmber to construct and operate a 100,000 ton per year capacity plant that uses bio-succinic acid as the feedstock to produce 70,000 tons of 1, 4-butanediol (BDO) and 30,000 tons of tetrahydrofuran (THF). BioAmber has also secured the right to license the JM Davy technology for two additional BDO/THF plants.

The JM Davy license is a major milestone for BioAmber's next commercial plant and will help the Company to accelerate deployment of its BDO/THF facility, which it plans to commission in 2018. BioAmber has already signed a 15 year take-or-pay agreement with Vinmar International for 100% of the output from the plant's 100,000 ton per year BDO and THF capacity. BioAmber will leverage its low cost bio-succinic acid technology and JM Davy's proven catalyst technology to produce cost competitive bio-based BDO and THF. These building block chemicals have large existing markets of over $4 billion annually and are used in various markets including paints, coatings etc.. Consumers will benefit from having exactly the same products they enjoy today, but with a significantly improved carbon footprint due to the renewable, fossil-free feedstock that are used and BioAmber's more sustainable manufacturing process.

"The JM Davy license gives us access to proven technology that has been commercially deployed in a number of plants," said Jean-Francois Huc, Chief Executive Officer. "It comes with performance guarantees and operating experience that mitigate risk.”

JM Davy is one of the global leaders in BDO and THF technology, with 14 licenses deployed representing approximately 800,000 tons per year of installed BDO and THF capacity, or 25% of worldwide capacity. JM Davy's technology uses maleic anhydride, a petrochemical derived from benzene or n-butane, as the feedstock for making BDO and THF. The first step of the process converts maleic to succinic before it is further converted to BDO and THF, so succinic is the logical alternative feedstock. JM Davy has adjusted and optimized its process and fully tested BioAmber's bio-succinic acid so it can substitute maleic anhydride without impacting performance, process economics or product quality.

"The BioAmber agreement is JM Davy's first North American BDO/THF license, and our first plant to utilize bio-succinic acid," said Mark Sutton of JM Davy. "By expanding our feedstock flexibility to include bio-succinic acid, we can offer our existing and future licensees the opportunity to utilize bio-succinic acid as an alternative to maleic anhydride."

JM Davy will be providing a complete basic engineering package for converting bio-succinic acid to bio-BDO and bio-THF, along with certain pieces of equipment and the catalyst needed to operate the plant. JM Davy will also provide on-site construction and commissioning support, and performance guarantees for the subsequent operation of the plant.

About BioAmber

BioAmber is one of the industrial biotechnology companies producing sustainable chemicals. Its proprietary technology platform combines industrial biotechnology and chemical catalysis to convert renewable feedstock into sustainable chemicals for use in a wide variety of everyday products including plastics, paints, food additives and personal care products.

About JM Davy

Johnson Matthey Davy Technologies Ltd is one of the global businesses developing and licensing proprietary technology for the chemical process industry. JM Davy utilizes a range of reaction technologies including, hydrogenation, oxidation, esterification, hydro formylation, reforming, synthesis etc. on which its proprietary processes are based.

Source: BioAmber

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