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Johnson Matthey Davy Technologies and Rennovia to develop and commercialize production technology for bio-based glucaric acid & adipic acid

20 March 2014

Johnson Matthey Davy Technologies Ltd. (JM Davy), a global provider of advanced process technologies and Rennovia, Inc., a development stage company which develops catalysts and processes for the cost-advantaged production of chemical products from renewable feedstocks, are collaborating to develop, demonstrate and commercialize catalytic process technologies for the production of bio-based glucaric acid and adipic acid.

  • Adipic acid, an industrial chemical conventionally derived from petroleum, is a multi-billion dollar global market, with major applications in nylon-6,6 fibers, engineering resins, polyester polyols for polyurethanes, and adipate ester plasticizers.

  • Glucaric acid is an emerging platform chemical with wide applications in detergent, de-icing, cement, and anti-corrosion markets.

Under the collaboration, Rennovia and JM Davy will work together to develop and demonstrate the processes based on Rennovia’s technology for the catalytic aerobic oxidation of glucose to glucaric acid, as well as the catalytic hydrogenation of glucaric acid to adipic acid. The goal of the collaboration is to develop and jointly license a technology package enabling commercial production of these chemical products.

JM Davy and Rennovia anticipate delivering technology capable of producing a bio-based adipic acid equivalent to the petroleum-based product, at a lower cost, and with a significantly improved environmental footprint.

JM Davy is a global business developing and licensing proprietary technology for the chemical process industries and transferring the know-how, through provision of basic engineering packages and related technical services including commissioning support. JM Davy has its headquarters in London, England, a technology centre in Teesside in the North of England and a client support office in Beijing, China. JM Davy utilizes a range of reaction technologies including, hydrogenation, oxidation, esterification, hydroformylation, reforming, synthesis etc. on which its proprietary processes are based.

Founded in 2009, Rennovia, Inc. is a chemical process technology development company focused on the creation of novel processes for the cost-advantaged production of commodity and specialty chemicals from renewable feedstocks. In addition to adipic acid and glucaric acid, Rennovia also is developing a bio-based hexamethylenediamine (HMD)—an important building block for a wide range of functional materials, including nylons and polyurethanes.

Archer Daniels Midland Company recently committed to a $25-million equity investment in Rennovia. (Earlier post.)

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