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August 12, 2013

GranBio and Rhodia sign partnership deal in renewable chemicals

Gerald Ondrey

GranBio (São Paulo; www.granbio.com.br), a Brazilian biotechnology company, and Rhodia, a Solvay Group (Brussels, Belgium; www.solvay.com) company, have signed an agreement to create a partnership to produce bio n-butanol. Bio n-butanol is made from sugar cane straw and bagasse, the same raw material that is used to manufacture second-generation ethanol and which is abundant in Brazil.

Under the partnership, the companies plan to build the world's first biomass-based n-butanol plant in Brazil, which will enter into operation in 2015. Both companies will benefit from agreements that each of them has already made with companies that own the technology.

The project is a key step for GranBio and Rhodia in the manufacturing of chemicals made from renewable sources.

"The partnership with Rhodia is fully aligned with our business partnership model and our strategy to develop solutions that can replace fossil fuels and chemicals with renewable products," says Bernardo Gradin, CEO of GranBio.

"This innovative project reflects our focus on technologies based on renewable resources, and the partnership with Brazil's GranBio demonstrates our confidence in the country's great potential in this field," says Vincent Kamel, CEO of Coatis, a Solvay Group business unit based in Brazil.

An essential chemical in the production of acrylates and methacrylates, n-butanol is widely used in the paint and solvent industries, in which Solvay is South America's market leader.

The investment in the biomass-based n-butanol plant requires the approval of the companies' boards. The structure of the agreement is to be submitted for clearance by Brazil's antitrust body, CADE.

 

 

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