Chemistry, Materials & Packaging
BASF Licenses Genomatica Process for Creating BDO from Renewable Feedstock

Chemical technology company Genomatica has announced a new partnership with BASF. The chemical giant has licensed Genomatica’s patented new manufacturing process for a renewable form of the organic compound 1,4-butanediol, more commonly known as BDO.

BDO and its many derivatives are used for the production of plastics, solvents, electronic chemicals and elastic fibers.

The basic ingredients for conventional, non-renewable BDO are natural gas, butane, butadiene and propylene. As the world’s biggest producer of BDO, at 535,000 metric tons annually, BASF has committed to using the most efficient and sustainable processes. Genomatica’s new one-step fermentation process fits this bill, as it uses sugars as a renewable feedstock.

“We chose the Genomatica process because we consider it to be exceptionally advanced and reliable,” said Sanjeev Gandhi, President of BASF Intermediates Division. “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. “This agreement highlights Genomatica’s commitment to delivering innovative process technologies to the global chemical industry.”

This new license agreement allows BASF to construct a new production facility that will exclusively use the new renewable BDO. Genomatica will continue to advance its renewable BDO production process while BASF will actually produce the renewable BDO, which will be available for sampling in trials in the second half of 2013.

Just last fall Genomatica discussed their work creating the process, as well as the potential savings of creating a renewable BDO; the company estimates that if this process is universally adopted, it could result in a savings of eleven billion pounds of CO2 per year.

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