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Genomatica and Asahi Kasei partner on renewably-sourced nylon 6,6 for automotive

Sustainable materials leader Genomatica and Japan-based diversified global manufacturer Asahi Kasei announced a strategic partnership to commercialize renewably-sourced nylon 6,61 made from Genomatica’s bio-based HMD (hexamethylenediamine, also abbreviated as HMDA) building block.

Asahi Kasei looks to this partnership to support its goal to be first-to-market with a more sustainable nylon 6,6 for the automotive and electronics industries, based on plant-based HMD, and to accelerate the achievement of its corporate sustainability objectives.

Nylon 6,6 is made by using approximately 50% HMD along with approximately 50% adipic acid, which today is made from fossil-derived feedstocks. Conventional HMD is made starting from fossil fuels, such as crude oil or natural gas. Renewably-sourced HMD made with Genomatica’s technology is derived from renewable feedstocks, such as plant-based sugars, and can improve the sustainability of the many materials made from it.

Renewably-sourced and sustainable nylon 6,6 is made by using such bio-based HMD instead of conventional HMD from fossil fuels, along with adipic acid.

In January, Genomatica and material manufacturer Covestro announced the successful production of significant volumes of a plant-based version of HMDA. The companies said they expect to produce ton quantities of high-quality material over the course of multiple production campaigns.

The companies plan to advance the program to full commercial scale, and Covestro has secured an option from Genomatica to license the resulting integrated GENO HMD process technology for commercial production.

Building upon the breakthrough to produce significant volumes of plant-based HMD, Asahi Kasei intends to apply the GENO HMD process technology to make more sustainable materials for use in products such as high-temperature automotive parts, electronics, or yarns to produce airbags.

Asahi Kasei will have preferential access to early volumes of renewably-sourced HMD and perform nylon application testing, leveraging Asahi Kasei’s deep experience developing successful nylon applications. Asahi Kasei anticipates licensing Genomatica’s GENO HMD process technology to commercialize bio-based nylon 6,6.

Genomatica develops complete, integrated process and manufacturing plant designs that use biotechnology, fermentation and renewable feedstocks to make widely-used ingredients and materials with lower carbon footprints.


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