LUDWIGSHAFEN, Germany/PHILADELPHIA – BASF, Ludwigshafen, Germany, and technology provider Renmatix Inc., Philadelphia, will jointly scale up the Renmatix Plantrose process for the production of industrial sugars based on lignocellulosic biomass. The two companies signed a non-exclusive joint development agreement and have agreed to key financial terms for future commercial licenses, which BASF can exercise at its discretion. The collaboration follows BASF’s $30 million investment in Renmatix in January 2012.

The Plantrose technology enables industrial sugar to be produced, at competitive costs, from a variety of non-edible biomass (lignocellulose) sources. The proprietary process breaks down lignocellulosic sources (e.g. wood, agricultural residues or straw) into industrial sugars using supercritical water (water at high temperature and pressure). Industrial sugars are important building blocks for various basic chemicals and intermediates that can be produced, for example, by fermentative processes. The availability of these industrial sugars in sufficient quantities and at competitive cost is important to enable both environmentally friendly and cost-competitive bio-based products. Incorporating biomass feedstocks as a first step in the value chain creates a raw material change that can reduce reliance on fossil raw material sources like naphtha as principal feedstock.

BASF experts are engaged in identifying interesting processes for utilizing alternative raw materials such as renewables, natural gas and CO2.