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Dow Chemical and OPX Biotechnologies to produce bio-based acrylic acid

April 13/2011

(Enhanced Online News)--The Dow Chemical Company and OPX Biotechnologies, Inc. announced  that the two companies are collaborating to develop an industrial scale process for the production of bio-based acrylic acid from renewable feedstocks.

Dow and OPXBIO recently signed a joint development agreement to prove the technical and economic viability of an industrial-scale process to produce acrylic acid using a fermentable sugar (such as corn and/or cane sugar) feedstock with equal performance qualities as petroleum-based acrylic acid, creating a direct replacement option for the market. If collaborative research is successful, the companies will discuss commercialization opportunities that could bring bio-based acrylic acid to market in three to five years.

Dow, a leading global producer of acrylic acid and esters, will provide its expertise in industrial chemistry, process optimization and product development. OPXBIO, a company that uses biotechnology to convert renewable raw materials into biochemicals and fuels, will contribute its expertise in strain development and bioprocessing utilizing its EDGE (Efficiency Directed Genome Engineering) technology.

The global petroleum-based acrylic acid market is USD 8 bln and growing 3 to 4 percent per year. Acrylic acid is a key chemical building block used in a wide range of consumer goods including paints, adhesives, diapers and detergents.

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