By Cameron Chai
The Dow Chemical has inked a joint development deal with OPX Biotechnologies to devise a commercial scale procedure for manufacturing of bio-based acrylic acid utilizing a fermentable sugar such as cane and corn sugar.
As per the deal, OPX Biotechnologies and Dow plan to produce bio-based acrylic acid with performance properties similar to that of acrylic acid manufactured from petroleum feedstock. If the study proves to be successful, both companies will work on the commercialization aspects of bio-based acrylic acid to bring it into the market within a period of three to five years.
International manufacturer of acrylic esters and acids, Dow will offer its technical knowledge in product development, process optimization and industrial chemistry, while OPX Biotechnologies, a firm that utilize biotechnology to produce fuels and bio-chemicals from renewable feedstock, will utilize its Efficiency Directed Genome Engineering (EDGE) technology in bio-processing and strain development.
Using its EDGE technology, OPX Biotechnologies develops bioprocesses and high-performing microbes more effectively when compared to traditional genetic engineering procedures. The company proved the efficiency of its EDGE technology in a pilot-scale program that extended for 18 months. In the program, the technology demonstrated its capital efficacy and ultra speed for the production of acrylic acid from renewable materials.
Based on an independent life cycle analysis carried out by Symbiotic Engineering, OPX Biotechnologies’ EDGE technology can cut down emissions of greenhouse gases by over 70% in comparison to conventional acrylic acid using petroleum feedstock. Acrylic acid is an important component in the production of consumer goods such as detergents, diapers, adhesives and paints.