BASF plans to begin production of 1,4-butanediol based on renewable feedstock (renewable BDO) using the patented process of Genomatica, San Diego, California. The one-step fermentation process is based on sugars as a renewable feedstock. The companies have agreed not to disclose financial details of the agreement.
The license agreement allows BASF to build a world-scale production facility that will use the Genomatica process to manufacture BDO based on renewable feedstock. Under the terms of the agreement, Genomatica will continue to advance its patented renewable BDO production process technology based on sugars while BASF will produce renewable BDO, which will be available in the second half of 2013 for sampling and trials.
“We chose the Genomatica process because we consider it to be exceptionally advanced and reliable,” said Sanjeev Gandhi, President of BASF Intermediates division, and added: “In line with our ‘We create chemistry’ strategy, we aim to offer renewable BDO and create additional value for our customers, in the plastics, textile and automotive industries.”
“We are pleased to cooperate with BASF, the leading global BDO manufacturer with a worldwide manufacturing and sales network and many years of market experience,” said Christophe Schilling, Chief Executive Officer of Genomatica, and continued: “This agreement highlights Genomatica’s commitment to delivering innovative process technologies to the global chemical industry.”
BDO and its derivatives are widely used for producing plastics, solvents, electronic chemicals and elastic fibers. The starting materials for the production of conventional BDO are natural gas, butane, butadiene and propylene. BASF currently produces BDO and BDO-equivalents at its sites in Ludwigshafen, Germany; Geismar, Louisiana; Chiba, Japan; Kuantan, Malaysia; and Caojing, China, and has an annual capacity of 535,000 metric tons. BASF has recently announced the intention of building a BDO complex in China with a capacity of 100,000 annual metric tons.