Biotechnology pioneer Genomatica, and material manufacturer Covestro last week announced successful trial production of a plant-based version of the chemical raw material HMDA (hexamethylenediamine), which is currently produced from fossil fuels to make materials ranging from nylon to coatings and adhesives.
“Both partners are already processing and testing material from their initial production campaigns, and the resulting bio-HMDA is of high purity and quality,” according to a statement from Genomatica, a member of BIO. “Coatings and adhesives can be produced more sustainably thanks to bio-based HMDA, made from renewable feedstocks. Areas of application include automotive, construction, furniture, textiles and fibers.”
The HDMA market in 2021 was 2 million tons. Genomatica and Covestro “expect to produce ton quantities of high-quality material over the course of multiple production campaigns,” Genomatica said.
The companies also said they plan to advance the program to full commercial scale.
Making renewable raw materials with biotech
Genomatica develops biobased versions of chemicals that are widely used in production to allow manufacturers to make better, more sustainable everyday products—ranging from food packaging to auto parts, clothing, tires, carpets, cosmetic ingredients, cleaning products and more.
“Genomatica is committed to delivering a portfolio of sustainable materials that can help any brand reduce the carbon footprint of its products while maintaining the performance customers count on,” said Christophe Schilling, Genomatica’s CEO.
Covestro brings extensive know-how in the field of research, chemical process technology and application development. The cooperation with Genomatica is a part of Covestro’s global program to achieve the circular economy, Chemeurope reports.
“Covestro is a valued partner that is playing a leading role in improving the environmental impact of many of today’s most prevalent materials. Together, we are taking an important step to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for a broad range of products we use in daily life,” Schilling said.
Last year Genomatica managed to raise $118 million, Forbes reported. The company said that it would be using the funds to scale up production of bio-based materials, including its main product, bio-based butanediol, or BDO, which is used as a solvent and for the manufacture of plastics, elastic fibers and polyurethane.