BioAmber produces biobased 1,4-Butanediol from biosuccinic acid

By BioAmber Inc. | March 27, 2012

BioAmber Inc. has scaled up its hydrogenation catalyst technology under license from DuPont and converted multiton quantities of biosuccinic acid into 100 percent biobased 1,4-butanediol (1,4-BDO), tetrahydrofuran (THF) and gamma-butyrolactone (GBL). BioAmber believes the global addressable market for these products exceeds $4 billion, and that they are principally used to make polyesters, polyurethanes, spandex and biodegradable plastics.

Using biosuccinic acid made at its French facility as a starting material, BioAmber successfully completed a 1,4-BDO production campaign in collaboration with one of the world’s leading commercial catalyst suppliers and a toll manufacturer possessing large-scale hydrogenation reactors and distillation columns.

“This is the culmination of two years of work and an important milestone in the development of our bio-based 1,4-BDO platform,” said Jim Millis, BioAmber’s chief technology officer. “We have been able to couple the DuPont catalyst technology with our biosuccinic acid production to manufacture high purity bio-based 1,4-BDO at demonstration scale. We are developing an integrated plant engineering design that combines the production of biosuccinic acid and biobased 1,4-BDO on a single site.”

High purity, biobased 1,4-BDO is available from BioAmber for testing and product development. Companies interested in obtaining samples should contact Patrick Piot