BioAmber to supply bio-succinic acid to Bayer MaterialScience

By BioAmber Inc. | April 27, 2015

BioAmber Inc. has been chosen by Bayer MaterialScience as the supplier of bio-succinic acid used to produce a new range of innovative, biobased polyurethanes for textile applications that Bayer MaterialScience has begun commercializing.  

Bayer MaterialScience has launched IMPRANIL eco, a series of biobased waterborne polyurethane dispersions with renewable content that reaches as high as 65 percent.  IMPRANIL eco has been developed to address the textile needs of the sportswear/footwear, automotive and fashion industries.  IMPRANIL eco enables manufacturers to produce synthetic materials and coated fabrics with a high content of renewable materials in every layer, with performance that matches the high level of conventional products, and the bio-based raw materials can be used without reformulation. 

"Sustainability is becoming a purchasing decision criterion for consumers and is high on the agenda for the textiles industry. IMPRANIL eco improves the ecological footprint for manufacturers, OEMs and brand owners. For the renewable raw materials for IMPRANIL eco, we are happy to have partnered with BioAmber, a technology leader that will provide a reliable supply of these precursors in sufficient scale," said Nicholas Smith, global head of textile coating at Bayer MaterialScience.

BioAmber has been working for over five years on the use of bio-succinic acid in polyurethanes. Bio-succinic acid brings differentiated performance when formulated by leading companies such as Bayer MaterialScience, and can substitute adipic acid to bring unique properties in applications such as synthetic leather, wood and metal coatings, elastomers and foams. Current adipic acid use in polyurethanes is 25 percent of the 3 million ton global market, representing 750,000 tons of annual consumption. This market for bio-succinic acid is poised for rapid growth as manufacturers seek to increase the renewable content in their products by using more bio-based polyurethanes.

Penetration of the polyurethanes market is part of BioAmber's broader strategy to accelerate the adoption of green chemistry in existing petrochemical supply chains. In 2014 BioAmber was selected as one of the top-ten green chemistry innovators by LAUNCH, an organization established by NASA, NIKE, the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development. LAUNCH was created to identify and foster breakthrough solutions to create a more sustainable world, and aims to move beyond incremental change and make impact at a system wide level. The founding organizations including NIKE, together with leading companies such as Walmart, IKEA and Bayer MaterialScience, are helping to advance green chemistry by generating demand for more sustainable products.

"Through formulation expertise and innovation, Bayer MaterialScience has shown that greener, more sustainable solutions can match the performance of existing products and be true drop-ins. With our 30,000 ton plant now being commissioned in Sarnia, we will reliably supply bio-succinic acid to customers spanning the polyurethane, paints and coatings, personal and home care, plastics and food markets," said Babette Pettersen, chief commercial officer at BioAmber.

With 2014 sales of EUR 11.7 billion ($14.72 billion), Bayer MaterialScience is among the world's largest polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction and the sports and leisure industries. At the end of 2014, Bayer MaterialScience had 30 production sites and employed approximately 14,200 people around the globe. Bayer MaterialScience is a Bayer Group company.