Leading nylon producer INVISTA and biotechnology firm LanzaTech signed a joint development agreement focused on bio-based butadiene. According to the agreement, INVISTA and LanzaTech will collaborate on projects to develop one-step and two-step technologies to convert industrial waste gas carbon monoxide into butadiene. Initial commercialization is expected in 2016.
Butadiene is an important intermediate chemical used in the production of synthetic rubber and various plastics. It is also a key intermediate chemical used by INVISTA in its proprietary, butadiene-based adiponitrile (ADN) production technologies. ADN is a critical intermediate chemical used in the manufacture of nylon 6,6.
The collaboration will initially focus on the production of butadiene in a 2-step process from LanzaTech CO-derived 2,3-butanediol (2,3 BDO). A direct single step process will also be developed to produce butadiene directly through a process of gas fermentation.
INVISTA and LanzaTech will also collaborate on the joint development of tools that will allow the extension of this technology—once developed—for the direct production of other industrial chemicals, including nylon intermediates, from carbon monoxide containing waste gases, utilizing LanzaTech’s gas fermentation technology and proprietary biochemical platform. INVISTA is building internal biotechnical capability to develop biological routes to its products and feedstocks.
LanzaTech’s 15,000 gal/year pilot facility at a steel mill in New Zealand produces ethanol and 2,3 BDO from waste carbon monoxide gas. In Shanghai, China, LanzaTech’s 100,000-gallon-per-year demonstration uses waste gases from a Baosteel steel mill to produce ethanol.
Founded in 2005 in New Zealand and headquartered in Roselle, Illinois, LanzaTech has developed a novel gas-liquid fermentation process that produces low carbon fuels and chemicals from waste gas resources.