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DSM and Roquette Jointly Develop Bio-based Intermediate for ‘Green’ Performance Materials

Royal DSM N.V., a life sciences and materials sciences company headquartered in the Netherlands, and the French starch and starch-derivatives company Roquette are partnering to implement and commercialize the fermentative production of biorenewable succinic acid, which—among other applications—opens the possibility to produce bio-based performance materials. Plans call for a demonstration plant in Lestrem (France) by the end of 2009.

Succinic acid is a chemical currently produced as a derivative from crude oil and natural gas. It is commonly used directly in a variety of industry applications, such as pharmaceuticals, food and automotive and also as an intermediate for the production of several (high-performance) polymers.

The fermentation processes will in this case lead to an energy saving of 30-40% compared to a typical chemical process for the production of succinic acid, thus reducing CO2 emissions.

As this is the first bio-based production process in which CO2 is actively used in the production, it creates an even bigger positive impact on CO2 emission levels.

The capacity of the demonstration plant will amount to several hundred metric tonnes per year. It is expected that after a successful trial the technology will be transferred to large-scale production within two years.

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