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Renewable feedstock research yields bio-sourced butadiene

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A working partnership believes it has found, following a year and a half of research, a direct biological pathway to convert renewable sources into butadiene.

Butadiene, a light olefin generated from oil, is used to manufacture rubbers, nylon plastics and latexes. Around 10 million tonnes is produced a year with a market value coming in at over $20 billion (€15.4 billion).

Industrial biology company Global Bioenergies and Poland-based rubber and chemicals manufacturer Synthos are currently filing for patents on its process of creating butadiene through direct, gaseous fermentation of renewable feedstocks.

‘The results obtained by Global Bioenergies in this discovery phase have been very convincing,’ says Synthos chairman Tomasz Kalwat. ‘We therefore renew our commitment to the partnership with and to the development of an eco-friendly and cost attractive bio-sourced butadiene process which will allow the manufacturing of a new generation of rubbers.’