The industrial biotech company will use the facility (pictured) in Carlsbad, California to accelerate commercialization of bio-based adipic acid, which is used to make both nylon 6,6 and thermoplastic polyurethane resins from renewable sources, such as non-food based vegetable oils.
Verdezyne says its method for producing adipic acid offers a number of advantages over petroleum-based techniques. The company’s yeast fermentation process uses non-food, plant-based feedstocks to produce a variety of commercial diacids. Verdezyne also expects its method to generate less CO2 and other pollutants than traditional methods.
A variety of products are currently produced worldwide from petroleum-based nylon, including engineered plastics and assorted textiles. Production of these types of products translates to an adipic acid market of more than $6 billion globally, Verdezyne said.
Adipic acid recently became the focus of criticism levied against the EU’s emissions trading system. In January, HFC 23 and N20 credits were banned from the system. Such credits are generated from Indian and Chinese operations that produce adipic acid. Green groups have slammed these projects, which they say manufacture and then destroy gases solely to earn credits.