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October Chementator Briefs

By Gerald Ondrey |

  A step closer to bio-based acrylic acid Last month, BASF SE (Ludwigshafen, Germany; www.basf.com), Cargill (Minneapolis, Minn.; www.cargill.com) and Novozymes (Copenhagen, Denmark; www.novozymes.com) achieved another milestone in the joint development of technologies to produce acrylic acid from renewable resources. The research team demonstrated the conversion of 3-hydroxypropionic acid (3-HP) to glacial (water-free) acrylic acid and superabsorbent polymers. The three companies began the quest for a process to convert renewable raw materials into acrylic acid in August 2012. The first milestone was reached in July 2013 with the demonstration of the production of 3-HP — one potential precursor for acrylic acid — at pilot scale. BASF initially plans to use bio-based acrylic acid to make superabsorbent polymers, which are used in diapers and other hygiene products. Currently, acrylic acid is produced by the oxidation of propylene, which is derived mainly from petroleum. Now, just 18 months after the collaboration began, BASF has selected the preferred process to convert 3-HP into glacial acrylic acid. A small integrated pilot plant is being set up, and could be operating by the end of this year. Together with the pilot…
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