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Reverdia and Helm join forces
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Reverdia and Helm join forces

18.10.2012 - Reverdia and Helm have partnered to market the bioplastics compound succinic acid on industrial scale.

Reverdia, the joint venture from Dutch DSM and French Roquette, has joined forces with Hamburg-based Helm AG for production and marketing in the highly competitive European market for bio-based succinic acid. The chemical building block for bioplastics, organic solvents and elastic fibres, is predicted to reach sales of 4-7bn annually in the mid-term.

„Reverdia’s Biosuccinium does not only offer an alternative to petrochemical succinic acid, but also for other fossil-based acids like adipic acid, so the market potential is huge”, stressed Christina Wienholz, Senior Executive Manager at Helm, who will take the part of marketing. “Our partnership with Helm will deliver expanded market development capacity for Reverdia in Europe“, said Reverdia chief Jo Kockelkoren, whose company has set up a plant-derived sugar fermentation process in yeast. His company aims at becoming the first company in the world to produce succinic acid on commercially large scale. Reverdia plans to complete a production plant with an annual capacity of 10,000 metric tons in Cassano Spinola, Italy, at the end of this year.

The move came just a week after German chemical major BASF and its Dutch partner Purac N.V. announced a joint-venture named Succinity to produce and market succinic acid. The companies want to start production after reconstruction of a 10,000 ton plant near Barcelona is finished in late 2013. US firm Myriant Inc. has also announced completion of construction of a 13,000 ton bio-succinic acid production plant in Quincy, Massachusetts, for the end of 2012. Bioamber Inc. is already marketing the bio-based compound since 2011, which is produced from E. coli in its Pomacle plant (France) that has an annual capacity of 2,000 metric tons. Succinity, however, may have a competitive edge because its process can also use glycerol, a byproduct of biodiesel production, as a feedstock.

According to the companies, biosuccinic acid could be used to produce coolants, surfactants, adhesives, corrosion inhibitors, lubricants, photo development fluids, herbicides, soldering pastes, runway deicers, polyurethanes, coating resins, phthalate-free plasticizers, polybutylene succinate (PBS) and many others.

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