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Zeon and Visolis collaborating on commercialization of bio-isoprene monomers

| By Mary Bailey

Zeon Corp. (Tokyo) signed a memorandum of understanding with California-based Visolis, Inc. to advance the commercialization of products, including bio-isoprene monomers and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). Zeon had announced its investment in Visolis through its venture capital arm Zeon Ventures Inc. in February 2023, and the latest agreement will accelerate its efforts to realize a sustainable society. Bio-isoprene monomers are used as a raw material for products such as bio-isoprene rubber, bio-styrene-isoprene-styrene block copolymer (bio-SIS), and SAF. Bio-isoprene monomers and SAF will be manufactured from biomass materials through a combination of biological catalysis (fermentation) and chemical catalysis drawing upon Visolis’ patented cutting-edge technology. In this context, Zeon recently accomplished a world first by synthesizing bio-SIS using bio-isoprene monomers produced through Visolis’ proprietary technology, while Visolis has concurrently achieved a 50-fold increase in its production capacity of bio-isoprene monomers. Under this agreement, the two companies will investigate the feasibility of commercializing bio-isoprene monomers and SAF. Additionally, Zeon will begin providing evaluation samples to potential customers in markets with a high demand for bio-based materials like footwear, tires, etc