Myriant Corp.'s biosuccinic acid plant in Lake Providence, Louisiana, is targeted to start-up in the fourth quarter this year, with mechanical completion set for early October. "Some time early in 2013 we will be operating a full-scale plant for making 30 million lb (13.5 kilotonnes)," annually, said Melanie Lussier, product manager.
Succinic acid is "the first product we are going to commercialise in our plant," which uses bacterial fermentation, Lussier said. Myriant also aims to make acrylic acid.
Polyurethanes is one of the significant markets, Lussier said, noting that Myriant is also targeting coalescing solvents, plasticisers and PBS. Myriant is aiming its material as a replacement for adipic acid in making polyester-based polyols.
Lussier said interest at UTECH in the products was strong - with a lot of questions about prices. "No one wants to pay more for green products," and she claims that, "there will not be a green premium for products." Myriant's prices will be cost competitive and "much lower and less volatile," than those for conventional polyols.
Myriant uses grain sorghum, which in the US is a non-food source. Myriant is also developing use of ligno-cellulosic materials. "We are working on scaling that up and it is our plan to long term to convert to that sort of process," Lussier said.