Mitsubishi Rayon and Arzeda to collaborate on new processes for industrial chemicals production


Mitsubishi Rayon, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings, has partnered with a synthetic biology company, Arzeda, to develop a new process for the production of a chemical building block with several applications.

Under the deal, both companies will provide their technologies, with Arzeda using its proprietary industrial protein design software, Archytas, and Mitsubishi Rayon providing its knowledge in process development and industrial scale-up.

Research for the project will be carried out at Arzeda's laboratories in Seattle and Mitsubishi's Japan-based laboratories.

"Mitsubishi Rayon has long been known as a leader in chemistry, and it is a great honour to be working with their team."

Arzeda CEO Alexandre Zanghellini said: "Through synthetic biology, Arzeda is able to help our customers unlock new opportunities for innovative, high-performing and sustainable products.

"Mitsubishi Rayon has long been known as a leader in chemistry, and it is a great honour to be working with their team."

The company has been involved in the computational and synthetic biology sector to make new, low-cost and sustainable enzymes and chemical products.

Mitsubishi Rayon R&D administration department general manager Takayuki Iseki said: "Through our own experience and expertise, as well as with innovative technology like Arzeda's, Mitsubishi Rayon can meet the growing global demand for a range of products in a sustainable manner.

"We look forward to the collaboration."

The company provides methyl methacrylate (MMA) monomer, as well as hollow fibre membranes, carbon fibres, plastic optical fibres, and other products.

In 2014, a joint veture between Mitsubishi Rayon and SABIC announced that they will build MMA and polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) plants in Saudi Arabia.

The 250,000t capacity MMA monomer plant and 40,000t PMMA plant are expected to be operational by next year.