Renewable chemistry company BioAmber (earlier post) has entered a strategic agreement with Mitsubishi Chemical through which BioAmber and its Asian distribution partner Mitsui & Co. will become the exclusive suppliers of bio-based succinic acid to Mitsubishi Chemical.
The three companies are conducting a feasibility study to build a succinic acid production facility next to Mitsubishi’s planned polybutylene succinate (PBS, a renewable, biodegradable polymer) production plant in Thailand.
BioAmber and Mitsubishi Chemical will also incorporate elements of Mitsubishi’s succinic acid technology into BioAmber’s biosuccinic platform. The goal is to produce low-cost succinic acid that will drive down the manufacturing cost of Mitsubishi Chemical’s PBS. BioAmber has already begun supplying Mitsubishi Chemical with bio-based succinic acid produced in Europe.
BioAmber has the exclusive and worldwide rights to technologies developed by the US Department of Energy (DOE) that use E. coli mutants to produce succinic acid; the company’s goal is to make bio-based succinic acid competitive with maleic anhydride and therefore a viable platform molecule for four-carbon chemistry.