Trio to develop bio-based diapers
20.08.2012 - German chemicals company BASF, US-based Cargill and Danish biotech
Novozymes join forces to develop technologies to produce acrylic acid from
renewable feed stocks.
BASF SE, the world's largest producer of acrylic acid, will join the research collaboration with Novozymes A/S and Cargill Inc., which have already worked together on renewable acrylic technology since 2008. Both firms have been involved in the development of microorganisms that are capable of producing 3-hydroxypropionic acid (3-HP) from renewable feedstock. 3-HP is one potential chemical precursor for the synthesis of acrylic acid.
The bio-based acrylic acid will first be used to manufacture superabsorbent polymers, which can soak up large amounts of liquid and are used mainly in baby diapers and other hygiene products, but also in adhesive raw materials and coatings.
According to the three companies, the annual global market volume of acrylic acid was approximately 4.5 million tons with a value of around US-$11bn at the end of 2011, with a annual growth rate of about 4%.