Bio-based Succinic acid

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  • The extent of market penetration depends mainly on the price competitiveness of biobased succinic acid relative to the petrochemical alternatives.
  • BASF and Purac, a subsidiary of CSM NV, will form a joint venture to produce bio-based succinic acid.
  • The companies have been conducting research under a joint development agreement on bio-based succinic acid since 2009.
  • The newly developed process combines high efficiency with the use of renewable substrates and the fixation of the greenhouse gas CO2 during the production. This results in a positive carbon-footprint and makes bio-based succinic acid an economically and ecologically attractive alternative to petrochemical substitutes.
  • Because of the rising price, the limited reserves of petroleum and the pollution of environment, the oil-based industries had been prompted a movement towards the bio-based chemicals, and the bio-based succinic acid production had drawn the attention from enterprises and research institutes.
  • The companies investing in biosuccinic acid clearly believe these projections are reasonable, given that, collectively, three of them intend to bring over 140,000 tonnes of capacity online by 2012. They base their optimism on potential new markets for biosuccinic acid, which dwarf the current use of the ingredient.
  • DNP Green is betting that its investment in producing biosuccinic acid will transform the ingredient from a specialty to a commodity chemical. It has set up a joint venture called Bioamber with agricultural research and development company ARD that has just commissioned a 21 million (18 million) facility in Pomacle, France, with an annual capacity of 2,000 tonnes. Their process uses an Escherichia coli (E. coli) strain developed specifically to produce succinic acid, with wheat-derived glucose currently being used as the substrate.

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