Thursday, 3 July 2014
Major breakthrough in Bio Acrylic Acids
The combined efforts of acrylic acid market major players BASF, Cargill and Novozymes have yielded a significant breakthrough in techniques to produce bio acrylic acid. The team has succeeded in producing 3-hydroxypropionic acid (3-HP) in pilot scale, which can be used as an input chemical for producing acrylic acid. “3-HP is a potential key raw material for the production of bio-based acrylic acid which is a precursor of superabsorbent polymers,” stated Teressa Szelest, Senior Vice President Global Hygiene Business at BASF. “We still have a fair amount of work to do before the process is commercially ready, but this is a significant milestone and we are confident we can continue to the next level of scale-up for the entire process in 2014.”
Since acrylic acid is conventionally produced from fossil fuels, 3-HP, being a renewable and eco-friendly resource gives a fresh lease of life to this very useful product. This breakthrough has decreased the restraints of acrylic acids in the global markets. “Our three companies have assembled highly talented and experienced joint working teams for this project,” stated Jack Staloch, Vice President of Biotechnology R&D at Cargill. “They’ve moved with speed and intensity, and have demonstrated great progress toward accomplishing our goals.”
“We have reached an important milestone by producing 3-HP in pilot scale,” said Rasmus von Gottberg, Vice President of Corporate Development and Business Creation at Novozymes. “We have shown that it is possible to make this key chemical building block from renewable raw materials in robust industrial conditions. Now the development work will continue towards commercialization.”
Such efforts from leading producers are making the acrylic acid global market all the more lucrative. As per a latest study by Allied Market Research, the global acrylic acid market is poised to reach $22.78bn by 2020. Bio-acrylic acid certainly reinforces this claim, providing a sea of opportunities to the investors.