ERJ staff report (DS)
Copenhagen --Genencor, a division of Danisco A/S, and The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. have announced a research collaboration to develop a bio-based process for producing isoprene using renewable raw materials.
Goodyear and Genencor are developing BioIsopren, a bio-based alternative for the petroleum-derived chemical compound isoprene monomer. BioIsoprene can be used for the production of synthetic rubber - which in turn is an alternative to natural rubber - and other elastomers. .
Genencor plans to manufacture and supply Goodyear with BioIsoprene through a strategic supply arrangement. Goodyear is one of the world's largest users of isoprene for the production of synthetic rubber and other elastomers. Sales of BioIsoprene by Genencor to third parties are also anticipated for all market applications of high purity isoprene.
Danisco and Goodyear have been investing jointly for more than a year to validate the project, establish the teams and secure intellectual property assets. To date, our technical progress has exceeded expectations. Over the next three years, Danisco will invest approximately USD 50 million to continue technology development, scale-up and deliver manufacturing cost targets. Additional investments to establish pilot plant operations and manufacturing infrastructure are expected. We expect technical readiness by 2010 and commission of the first large-scale manufacturing plant by 2012. Key technical and commercial accomplishments will be communicated as the effort progresses.
For Goodyear, a bio-based alternative to synthetic rubber would be an important advancement as the company seeks innovative approaches to addressing raw material needs. The company is committed to reducing its carbon footprint, and BioIsoprene™ produced from renewable materials will help achieve this goal.
'We truly see this as a unique opportunity that is consistent with our culture of innovation and industry leadership,' says Jean-Claude Kihn, Goodyear's Chief Technology Officer. 'Since synthetic rubber is a critical component to our products, we are very excited to be working on this renewable alternative with Genencor.'
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Press release from Danisco