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Genomatica licenses renewable BDO technology to Cargill for new facility in Iowa

By Mary Page Bailey |

Genomatica (San Diego, Calif.) has licensed its GENO BDO biomanufacturing process technology to Cargill, Inc. (Minneapolis, Minn.), which is using it in its newly-announced joint venture with HELM, Qore, to produce renewable 1,4-butanediol (BDO). The technology for the BDO production facility will be a part of the recently announced $300 million investment by Cargill and HELM at the biotechnology campus in Eddyville, Iowa.

With the completion of this facility in 2024, Genomatica’s technology will enable a combined, global production capacity of over 100,000 tons per year of renewable BDO. Companies around the world are rapidly rethinking their supply chains to meet increasing consumer and investor demand for responsible, transparent and sustainable sourcing of performance materials.

There is a 2.5 million ton, $5 billion per year global market for BDO that powers downstream products from athletic apparel to seat cushions and more. Under a single plant license, Genomatica has provided the latest generation of its proprietary GENO BDO process along with a complete process design package and technology services, receiving license fees and royalties in exchange. In addition to the Novamont facility in Bottrighe, Italy, this project represents the second large-scale commercial plant set to be powered by Genomatica’s technology.

“Innovations and creative partnerships are essential for the realization of new and improved value chains to meet the ever-rising demand for more sustainable solutions that consumers, brands and our planet need,” said Christophe Schilling, Genomatica CEO. “We are pleased to supply our innovative sustainable technology to Cargill and HELM, whose venture and complementary strengths are ideally suited to do just that — ensure that an essential chemical found everywhere from our shoes and clothes to our cars will be produced in a superior way with a far lower environmental impact.”

“Sustainable chemicals are quickly becoming table stakes for our customers and our investments will enable the chemicals industry to embrace new markets with the materials consumers are demanding from companies they trust,” said Jill Zullo, Vice President, Biointermediates/Bioindustrial at Cargill.

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