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Scientific partnership to focus on green alternative to petroleum


Princeton, NJ – DNP Green Technology, one of the two shareholders of Bioamber, says it has formed a scientific agreement with the National Research Council of Canada Biotechnology Research Institute (NRC-BRI). The partnership aims to develop a second-generation technology for the production of bio-based succinic acid.

Succinic acid is a building block for the production of numerous industrial chemicals. It is used in products such as deicers, food and pharmaceutical chemicals, solvents and polymers (polyesters, polyurethanes and polyamides). Bioamber’s technology provides a route to bio-based succinic acid which it says represents a safe, economical, and environmentally friendly alternative to petrochemicals.

“This research partnership with NRC-BRI will broaden our knowledge of microbial systems to manufacture bio-based succinic acid and derivatives,” says Dr Roger Laurent Bernier, vice-president R&D of DNP Green Technology. “We aim to improve even the best available technology by using new bioprocessing approaches and concepts and benefit from NRC’s expertise and world-class facilities.”

Bioamber, a joint venture of DNP Green Technology and Agro-Industrie Recherches et Développements (ARD), had already developed a first-generation technology for producing bio-based succinic acid. Bioamber’s technology also offers an important environmental advantage: it consumes CO2, as opposed to equivalent petrochemical processes that emit greenhouse gases. Bioamber says it expects to begin licensing the first-generation technology in the coming year.

“NRC-BRI is looking forward to working with DNP Green Technology and Bioamber,” said Dr Michel Desrochers, director general of NRC-BRI. “By developing an even better technology to produce bio-based succinic acid, we will be helping to deliver an environmentally friendly alternative to petrochemicals.”

The initiative builds on a close working relationship that includes an ongoing carbohydrate screening program. The screening program allows researchers to assess sugar streams from different potential sources, such as corn, sugarcane, wheat, ligno-cellulose and glycerol to determine their economic impact as feedstocks in Bioamber’s succinic acid production process.