Myriant, JM Davy announce successful production of BDO, THF

By Myriant Corp. | June 12, 2013

Myriant Corp.,  a global renewable chemicals company, and Johnson Matthey - Davy Technologies,  a chemical technology licensing company, have announced the successful production of bio-butanediol (BDO) and tetrahydrofuran (THF) made from Myriant’s bio-succinic acid. The qualification work was conducted at JM Davy’s facility at Teesside, England, using bio-succinic acid supplied by Myriant and the JM Davy BDO/THF process.

Combining the efficiencies of Myriant’s bio-succinic acid process and the JM Davy BDO/THF process, the bio-butanediol and bio tetrahydrofuran has an overall carbon efficiency of 87 percent, believed to be substantially better than the carbon efficiency achieved in the direct fermentation route to bio-butanediol.

“The recent developments that JM Davy and Myriant have been able to achieve together are clear milestones in our overall strategy to bring renewable products to the market,” said Antoine Bordet, managing director at JM Davy. “We have provided process technologies based on petroleum feedstocks to the BDO and THF markets globally for 25 years and understand what it takes to be competitive from a cost and quality point of view.  

The JM Davy BDO/THF technology, which has undergone significant improvements over the past 10 years, can now be offered with process and performance guarantees to produce commercial grade bio-butanediol, tetrahydrofuran and gamma-butyrolactone equivalent to the petrochemical material that is currently produced in commercial plants, from Myriant’s bio-succinic acid at a competitive cost level.

“With this most recent success at Teesside, Myriant has proved that we are able to produce succinic acid suitable for the production of commercial grade bio-butanediol,” commented Cenan Ozmeral, Myriant chief operating officer. “Our bio-butanediol offers superior carbon efficiency that will enable our customers to reduce their overall carbon footprint. Achieving this success is another major step towards advancing Myriant’s commercialization strategy for bio-succinic acid and its derivatives, and, it is significant because it provides us immediate entrance into a large market with JM Davy, the global leader in BDO/THF process technology.”

JM Davy, a global leader in esterification and hydrogenation technology, has licensed 800,000 metric ton per year of annual capacity for the production of butanediol, tetrahydrofuran and gamma-butyrolactone representing approximately 25 percent of the global installed capacity.

Myriant’s flagship bio-succinic acid plant in Lake Providence, La., is currently being commissioned and it is the largest bio-succinic acid plant in the world.