25.07.2012 - Evonik Industries and BioAmber join forces on catalysts for sustainable chemicals made from bio-based succinic acid.
Under the terms of the agreement, Evonik and Bioamber will jointly develop and manufacture catalysts for making BDO (1,4- butanediol), THF (tetrahydrofurane) and GBL (gamma - butyrolactone) from bio-based succinic acid. BDO, THF and GBL are large volume industrial chemicals used in a wide range of applications including polymers, paints, adhesives and solvents. The global market for these products, currently made from petrochemicals, is $4bn.
The two companies are well known to each other. Back in 2010, they started a joint development programme for a new generation of BDO catalysts. "Through our collaboration with Evonik, we have secured the expertise and capabilities we need to rapidly bring competitive BDO and THF technology to market," said Jean-Francois Huc, BioAmber CEO. "We are fortunate to have a partner of Evonik’s calibre who can both optimise and manufacture our immediate catalyst needs and also develop with us a new generation of catalysts," Huc added. Bioamber operates the world’s only dedicated production plant for bio-succinic acid in Pomacle, France with a 350,000 litre commercial scale fermenter. The US-based company is pouring more money into building new plants around the globe. Together with Mitsui & Co., it has broken ground in Sarnia, Canada on a 17,000 metric ton bio-succinic acid plant that will be operational in late 2013, with plans to expand capacity to 34,000 metric tons of succinic acid, and a 23,000 metric tons BDO plant in late 2014.
In order to fuel 1st growth, Bioamber has completed its Series C round of financing with net proceeds of $30m. The financing was closed in two tranches; a first tranche of $20m on November last year with existing investors Naxos Capital, Sofinnova Partners, Mitsui & Co. Ltd. and the Cliffton Group. A second tranche of $10m followed this February with specialty chemicals company Lanxess. All of BioAmber’s Series B investors participated in the Series C financing.
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