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BASF starts production of bio-based BDO

By: EUROPEAN PLASTICS NEWS

November 28, 2013

BASF SE says it has produced its first commercial volumes of 1,4-butanediol (BDO) from renewable raw material, and is offering this product to customers for testing and commercial use.

The group is using the BDO fermentation technology from San Diego-based Genomatica Inc., which has partnerships with other plastics companies.

BDO has a range of uses, including as an intermediate in the production of engineering thermoplastic polybutylene terephthalate (PBT). It is also used by bioplastics producers: Genomatica has a minority share in a joint BDO production project with Italian company Novamont SpA, which will start up in 2014.

Last month, DSM said it has increased the renewable content of Arnitel Eco thermoplastic co-polester to 73 percent, thanks to a new supply deal with Genomatica.

BASF said it plans to expand its portfolio with selected BDO derivatives based on renewable feedstock, including polytetrahydrofuran (polyTHF), which is used to produce TPU materials.

In July BASF announced plans to increase its global capacities for BDO to 650,000 metric tons per year and for polyTHF to 350,000 metric tons per year within the coming two years.