Novozymes, Cargill to continue bio-acrylic acid partnership as BASF exits; looking for new commercialization partner
Chemical company BASF has decided to exit the current R&D collaboration with Novozymes and Cargill to develop a bio-based process for producing 3-hydroxypropionic (3-HP) and acrylic acid from renewable raw materials. BASF joined the collaboration with Novozymes and Cargill in 2012. Novozymes and Cargill have collaborated on the project since 2008 and will continue their work to commercialize bio-based 3-HP and derivatives. The two companies have initiated efforts to find a new commercialization partner.
The partners said that the R&D cooperation on bio-based acrylic acid has achieved the technical and business targets. In 2013, the project accomplished the production of 3-HP in pilot scale, and in September 2014 announced the successful conversion of 3-HP to glacial acrylic acid and super-absorbent polymers.
Acrylic acid is a high-volume chemical that feeds into a broad range of products. One of the main applications is in the manufacture of super-absorbent polymers that can soak up large amounts of liquid and are used mainly in baby diapers and other hygiene products. Acrylic acid is also used in adhesive raw materials and coatings. Presently, acrylic acid is produced by the oxidation of propylene derived from the refining of crude oil.