Roquette and partners develop new isosorbide and biosuccinic acid in BioHub programme


French starch manufacturer Roquette, along with various partners have successfully concluded the BioHub programme, which led to the development of POLYSORB isosorbide.

This new solution will boost properties of polymers, increasing capability in terms of heat resistance transparency and UV resistance.

The programme has been running since 2006 with the support of Bpifrance and highlighted the industrial and commercial successes of Roquette, known to be the fifth largest starch manufacturer in the world.

"With Bpifrance actively involved in the energy and environmental transition, we are delighted with the success of the BioHub programme."

POLYSORB isosorbide will meet the needs of performance plastics and speciality chemistry markets, which has been developed through nine years of studies and industrial production processes to perfect the high purity isosorbide.

BioHub was focusing on several industrial developments, including isosorbide and bio succinic acid for the manufacture of performance plastics and the isosorbide diesters used as plasticisers.

The new innovative materials are in the process of being marketed.

Roquette plant-based chemistry R&D vice-president Christophe Rupp Dahlem said: "The BioHub programme, launched in 2006, was the first programme on a European scale backed by Bpifrance and providing new biobased solutions for the automotive, construction and packaging markets.

"The advances obtained confirm once more the group's determination to establish privileged relationships with its customers."

Bpifrance innovation executive director Paul-François Fournier said: "With Bpifrance actively involved in the energy and environmental transition, we are delighted with the success of the BioHub programme.

"Roquette succeeded in bringing together several partners right from the start and throughout all the development stages, resulting in the production of biobased products that satisfy the market needs, while at the same time providing an alternative to petrochemical products."

Bpifrance extends its support to BioHub through an Industrial Innovation Mobilization programme (PMII).

Other private and public partners in the BioHub programme included ARKEMA (France), DSM (Netherlands), BASF (formerly COGNIS, Germany), SOLVAY (France), TERGAL FIBRES (France), SIDEL (France), EUROVIA/VINCI (France), METABOLIC EXPLORER (France), INSA Lyon and Rouen (France), IMMCL Lille (CNRS), RICE UNIVERSITY (USA).

Image: Roquette has concluded its BioHub programme. Photo: courtesy of Roquette.