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Biobased succinic acid pilot effort underway

By Chemical Engineering |

Pilot-scale production of biobased succinic acid from dextrose has been demonstrated by Myriant Technologies (Quincy, Mass., www.myriant.com). The firm expects commercial production by mid-2010. The succinic-acid process follows Myriant’s successful commercialization with partner Purac (Blair, Neb.; www.purac.com) of a biobased D(–) lactic acid, which began commercial production in June 2008. Succinic acid process relies on an engineered E. coli strain with deleted genes, and on off-the-shelf technologies for isolating products. Myriant says its succinic acid production will be cost competitive relative to petroleum-derived alternatives such as maleic anhydride for polymer, solvent, food, pigment and pharmaceutical applications. “We are not counting on any green premium to be competitive, says Sam McConnell, Myriant senior vice president for Corporate Development. Biobased succinic acid is thought to avoid some of the price volatility associated with petroleum-derived alternatives. The Myriant process offers significant environmental benefits, including lower greenhouse-gas emissions, McConnell explains, because the process consumes carbon dioxide. Myriant Technologies is working to produce ton-sized samples that…
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