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May 31, 2013

Myriant produces bio-succinic acid at commercial scale

Gerald Ondrey

Myriant Corp.(Quincy, Mass.; www.myriant.com) announced the successful scaling and commercial production of bio-succinic acid at ThyssenKrupp Uhde's (Dortmund, Germany; www.uhde.eu) biotech commercial validation facility in Leuna, Germany. The production process meets targets for commercial yield and product quality.

Myriant and ThyssenKrupp Uhde signed an exclusive alliance agreement in 2009 to commercialize bio-succinic acid. The two companies have worked together since then to achieve two main objectives of the agreement. First, to ensure that the bio-succinic acid process is cost competitive and that it produces the highest purity product at commercial scale. Second, to enable ThyssenKrupp Uhde to provide important process and performance guarantees for the bio-succinic acid process at future Myriant plants built by Uhde.

"With the success at Leuna we have achieved the first objective set out in our alliance agreement with ThyssenKrupp Uhde. Producing on-spec, commercial grade bio-succinic acid while meeting our commercial cost targets would not be possible without the expert engineering, design and process expertise of ThyssenKrupp Uhde, our global alliance partner and our selected engineering partner for future commercial production plants," comments Cenan Ozmeral, Myriant's COO.

"Myriant has established a track record for executing against our stated milestones and also for achieving significant industry-firsts," says Stephen J. Gatto, chairman and CEO for Myriant. "We believe obtaining a process guarantee from ThyssenKrupp Uhde will be an important strategic differentiator for Myriant in the bio-based chemicals industry and that, when coupled with a proven, scalable process, will enable us to access lower-cost capital to fund our plant build-out program in the United States and abroad."

"In Myriant we found a partner that delivers on its promises. ThyssenKrupp Uhde selected Myriant amongst a long list of bio-chemical companies globally because we believed the company not only had the best scientists and technology, but also because Myriant has the requisite depth to build a long-lasting, bio-chemicals company; staying power and longevity are important attributes for us. The success in Leuna, in addition to Myriant's other achievements in the bio-succinic acid market, confirms that we made the right decision," says Joachim Schulze, head of Biotechnology Division for ThyssenKrupp Uhde.

Globally, the annual worldwide market for succinic acid is estimated at approximately $7.5 billion in new and existing applications. Succinic acid, which is traditionally produced from petroleum, can be used in a wide variety of applications including polymers, urethanes, plasticizers and coatings. Myriant's high purity bio-succinic acid is made from renewable feedstocks and is chemically equivalent to petroleum-based succinic acid while providing a lower environmental footprint. Myriant's bio-succinic acid reduces harmful green house gas emissions by 94% compared to petroleum-derived succinic acid and by 93% compared to petroleum-derived adipic acid.

 

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