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Braskem, Amyris, Michelin Partner on Renewable Isoprene

MichelinBiopolymers producer Braskem has joined an ongoing collaboration between tire company Michelin and renewable products company Amyris to develop and commercialize renewable isoprene, sourced from various biomass.

Under the terms of the agreement, Braskem, Michelin and Amyris will work together to develop a technology to utilize plant sugars, such as those found in Brazilian sugarcane or cellulosic feedstocks, to produce renewable isoprene.

The addition of Braskem — the largest petrochemical company in the Americas and global leader in the production of biopolymers, will accelerate the industrialization of renewable isoprene — the companies say.

Amyris will share its rights to commercialize the renewable isoprene technology developed under this collaboration with Braskem. Michelin will maintain certain preferential, but not exclusive, access to the renewable isoprene to be produced by this technology.

The companies will not disclose details of the agreement, including the financial contributions of each party.

This joint project will also give Michelin an additional sustainable sourcing channel for poly-isoprene for the production of tires.

Late last year Braskem and Genomatica, a biotechnology company, signed an agreement for the joint development of a new technology for the production of butadiene from renewable feedstocks. At the time Braskem said its objective with the green chemical is to primarily serve the synthetic rubber market, whose demand is currently met by naphtha-based butadiene. The company’s forecast calls for growing demand for butadiene-based elastomers by tire manufacturers, the largest consumers of butadiene.

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