—BASF Joins Cargill And Novozymes On Process For Biobased Acrylic Acid “Initial plan is to use acrylic acid to manufacture superabsorbent polymers” Three giants in chemicals, agricultural products, and industrial enzymes have partnered to commercialize a biological route to acrylic acid. In a joint announcement, BASF, Cargill, and Novozymes say their target market is diapers and similar products that rely on superabsorbent polymers made from acrylic acid. Acrylic acid is also used to make detergents, paints, and adhesives. According to the three companies, the global market for acrylic acid is around 4.5 million tons and is worth $11 billion per year. BASF is the world’s largest producer of acrylic acid. It makes the key monomer by oxidizing propylene derived from the refining of crude oil. Cargill and Novozymes have been working on renewable acrylic acid technology since 2008. The collaboration between Novozymes and Cargill has focused on genetically engineering microbes to efficiently convert sugar into 3-hydroxypropionic acid (3-HP), an alternative precursor to acrylic acid. BASF’s role in the enlarged collaboration will be to develop a process to convert 3-HP into acrylic acid.
by Melody M. Bomgardner |
August 27, 2012