ESSEN, Germany - Evonik Industries’ Catalysts Business Line has recently agreed with U.S.-based BioAmber Inc. on a long-term cooperation for the development and manufacturing of 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 $4 billion.
BioAmber is a leading manufacturer of bio-succinic acid from renewable feedstock. Bio-succinic acid is a platform chemical that can be used to make a number of products currently made from petrochemicals. The company licensed BDO hydrogenation catalyst technology from DuPont in 2010, which has been further developed with partners Evonik and the Center for Applied Catalysis at Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ, to improve the technology. In parallel, BioAmber and Evonik have started to develop a new generation of BDO catalysts.