Bioamber, a joint venture between DNP Green Technology and Agro-Industrie Recherches et Developpements (ARD) has obtained the necessary permits and begun construction of the world's first production plant for bio-based succinic acid.
The succinic acid plant will have an annual production capacity of 2,000 metric tons and will be integrated into an existing bio-refinery located in Pomacle, France. The plant, which is being financed by ARD at a cost of US$27 million, will begin production in the fall of 2009.
This technological milestone represents a significant step forward for renewable, bio-based chemistry and it reportedly will help reduce the world's dependence on fossil fuels. Bioamber's production of bio-based succinic acid can use various renewable feedstocks such as wheat, corn, sugar cane, rice, lingo-cellulose and glycerin.
Succinic acid and succinate esters can be used as building blocks in a multitude of markets including biopolymers, plastics, polyesters, resins, runway deicers, non-toxic solvents and renewable fuels (as a diesel additive). The plant demonstrates the technological breakthrough of the US Department of Energy's proprietary E. coli bacterium, which is under exclusive license to DNP Green Technology and has been optimized by Bioamber.
Bioamber's fermentation technology is cost competitive with the petrochemical processes. Bioamber's platform also offers an important environmental advantage: it consumes CO(2), as opposed to equivalent petrochemical processes that emit greenhouse gases.