Bioplastic growth triggers succinic acid development

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BASF and Purac have formed a joint venture for the production of biobased succinic acid. The new company, which will be named Succinity, will be operational in 2013.

The move is in anticipation of a growth in demand for succinic acid, driven by growth in the bioplastics, chemical intermediates, solvents, polyurethanes and plasticisers markets.

BASF and Purac’s parent company CSM are currently modifying a fermentation facility at Purac’s Montmélo site near Barcelona in preparation for the production of succinic acid. This plant, which will commence operations in late 2013 with an annual capacity of 10,000 tons, will put the joint venture company in a leading position in the global marketplace.

A second large-scale facility with an annual capacity of 50,000 metric tons of succinic is also planned – the final decision on this investment will be made once the first plant is up and running.

“Our strategy clearly focuses on innovations for a sustainable future. Chemistry-driven innovations are the responses to megatrends, such as the shift to renewable raw materials,” said Dr Andreas Kreimeyer, research executive director at BASF.

“The development of a succinic acid production process based on fermentation in cooperation with Purac is a good example of this strategy being put into practice.”