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BASF resigns from the cooperative project on bio-based acrylic acid

BASF resigns from the cooperative project on bio-based acrylic acid

Publish date: 2015-02-12

BASF chemical company has left the collaborative project conducted with Novozymes and Cargill that was aimed to elaborate bio-based process for 3-hydroxypropionic (3-HP) and acrylic acid production. Novozymes and Cargill declare that they will continue the effort to bring the technology to the market.

Tags: biotechnology , cooperation , BASF , Cargill , Novozymes , acrylic acid

It has been announced that the largest chemical producer in the world, BASF company, left the ongoing R&D project with Novozymes and Cargill that was focused on production of 3-hydroxypropionic (3-HP) and acrylic acid from renewable raw materials. Despite that, the two companies are planning to finish the initiative and now they are trying to find a new business partner.

The whole idea of the collaborative bio-based production of acrylic acid started in August 2012 when the three companies came to a joint agreement. However, Novozymes and Cargill have been working on the project since 2008. The first success was announced in July 2013, when the partners obtained 3-HP, which is considered as a precursor of acrylic acid. Nowadays, acrylic acid is synthesized in the process of oxidation of propylene acquired from the refining crude oil.

The next information concerning successful cooperation of BASF, Novozymes and Cargill was presented at the end of 2014, when the companies demonstrated conversion of 3-HP to glacial acid and superabsorbent polymers, as well as, possible scaling-up of the whole process. The major idea of BASF was to utilize bio-based acrylic acid to generate superabsorbent polymers. The pilot plant was operated by Cargill with the help from Novozymes. In such a way, the product was expected to enter the market in a quiet short time.

Acrylic acid is an organic compound used for manufacturing of numerous products e.g. plastics or paint formulations. Moreover, it can be used for production of so called superabsorbent polymers that are capable of absorbing and retaining very large amounts of a liquid. Therefore, they can be used in many hygiene products like diapers. There is a strong demand for bio-based superabsorbent polymers and the potential market is extremely huge.


Maciej Smolarz


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