BASF and Purac ink deal to meet expected demand of succinic acid

By Andrew McDougall

- Last updated on GMT

BASF and CSM subsidiary Purac have announced that the start of negotiations to form a joint venture for the production of bio-based succinic acid to meet anticipated growth in demand growth in the coming years.

The companies have been conducting research under a joint development agreement on bio-based succinic acid since 2009 which has led to the development of a manufacturing process based on a proprietary microorganism.

The main drivers for the anticipated demand are expected to be bioplastics, chemical intermediates, solvents, polyurethanes and plasticizers, according to the chemical giant.

Take it to the next level

"We are happy to bring our partnership with Purac to the next level,"​ said Dr. Andreas Kreimeyer, member of the Board of executive directors and research executive director of BASF.

"Until now our partnership has been very successful, and moving towards a joint venture will strengthen our goal to become the leading supplier in the succinic acid market."

According to lactic acid-focused Purac, the aim is to be the first commercial producer in the market with a 25,000 tons capacity fermentation production plant at its site near Barcelona, with the intention to start up by 2013 at the latest.

CSM CEO, Gerard Hoetmer commented: "In addition, we are already planning a world-scale plant with a capacity of 50,000 tons to account for the expected demand growth. This partnership has enormous potential as it leverages the combined competencies of two leading companies in their fields."

Validated and evaluated

The jointly developed production process currently in operation has been validated by both companies and they used the results to evaluate the market.

"After successfully testing the BASF in-house applications we are now able to make large volumes available for external customers,"​ said Dr. Thomas Weber, managing director of BASF Future Business, with regard to the recent industrial production campaign in June 2011.

"The goal is to globally provide a high product quality and offer security of supply to the customers,"​ Fabrizio Rampinelli, managing director of Purac, added.

"Through this bio-based succinic acid collaboration we aim to add another important new growth-pillar to our bio-based polymers and green chemical business."

Succinic acid has a number of industrial applications including cosmetics and perfumery.

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