BioAmber says it has has entered into a technology license with Johnson Matthey Davy Technologies that will allow the industrial biotechnology company to construct and operate a 100,000 ton per year capacity plant that uses bio-succinic acid as the feedstock to produce 70,000 tons of 1,4-butanediol (BDO) and 30,000 tons of tetrahydrofuran (THF).
BioAmber has also secured the right to license JM Davy’s catalyst technology for two additional BDO/THF plants.
The global market for bio-succinic acid is expected to grow to $1.1 billion by 2020, according to an Allied Market Research report.
The JM Davy license is a major milestone for BioAmber’s next commercial plant and will help the company to accelerate deployment of its BDO/THF facility, which it plans to commission in 2018.
BioAmber has already signed a 15 year take-or-pay agreement with Vinmar International for 100 percent of the output from the plant’s 100,000 ton per year BDO and THF capacity.
BioAmber says JM Davy’s technology will allow it to produce cost competitive bio-based BDO and THF. These building-block chemicals have large existing markets of more than $4 billion annually and are used to make engineering plastics for the automotive and electronics industries, biodegradable plastics and spandex.
JM Davy has 14 licenses deployed representing about 800,000 tons per year of installed BDO and THF capacity, or 25 percent of worldwide capacity. JM Davy’s technology currently uses maleic anhydride, a petrochemical derived from benzene or n-butane, as the feedstock for making BDO and THF.
By licensing JM Davy’s BDO/THF technology, BioAmber eliminates the need to build and operate a demonstration plant, saving time and money.