Minneapolis, Minnesota - US group BioAmber Inc. has signed a strategic agreement with Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. under which BioAmber and its Asian distribution partner Mitsui & Co. will be the exclusive suppliers of bio-based succinic acid to Mitsubishi.
The three companies are also conducting a feasibility study to build a succinic acid plant next to Mitsubishi's planned polybutylene succinate (PBS) plant in Thailand, said a 26 April announcement from the Minneapolis, Minnesota-based company. BioAmber and Mitsubishi Chemical will incorporate elements of Mitsubishi's succinic acid technology into BioAmber's biosuccinic platform.
The goal is to produce low-cost succinic acid that will drive down the manufacturing cost of Mitsubishi Chemical's patent protected PBS, a renewable, biodegradable polymer. BioAmber has begun to supply Mitsubishi Chemical with bio-based succinic acid produced in Europe, the company said.
BioAmber said it has also secured the right to source biobased PBS from Mitsubishi Chemical for its modified PBS polymers, which are marketed through BioAmber's Sinoven Biopolymers subsidiary.
"BioAmber and Mitsubishi have brought together their respective succinic technologies and combined strengths to establish the dominant, low-cost succinic acid production platform, and our collaboration with Mitsui & Co. will help deploy our succinic acid technology rapidly and globally," said Jean-Francois Huc, ceo of BioAmber, in the announcement.
"Our partnership with BioAmber is an integral part of our PBS market development strategy," said Shigeru Handa, general manager of Mitsubishi Chemical's Sustainable Resources Business Development Department, in a joint release.
"We believe BioAmber has the best-in-class succinic acid technology that we can further improve. Partnering with BioAmber will drive down the cost of our PBS, make it over 50 percent renewable and accelerate sales growth," he added.
BioAmber also aims to develop biobased adipic acid and butanediol. The company has offices and research labs in Minneapolis, an office in Montreal, a sales office in Shanghai, China and a production plant in Pomacle, France.