Novamont, Versalis, Genomatica to produce bio-based butadiene

Versalis, Genomatica and Novamont have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish a joint venture (JV) to develop an 'end-to-end' process for production of polymer-grade butadiene from biomass.

As part of the agreement, Versalis, a major partner in the JV, will use Genomatica's process technology and Novamont's experience in renewable feedstocks to produce butadiene.

The JV follows the formation of Matrìca, a JV between Versalis and Novamont. Versalis proposed an investment in innovation and capitalization of elastomers and Genomatica's production of bio-based butadiene.

"The JV follows the formation of Matrìca, a JV between Versalis and Novamont."

Daniele Ferrari, Versalis CEO, said Genomatica's process technology for on-purpose butadiene, combined with Versalis's experience in downstream applications and ability to scale and commercialise the process, can expand the industry's approach to C4 production.

"This partnership, which follows the establishment of Matrìca, the equal joint venture with Novamont for the production of monomers, intermediates and polymers from renewable sources, accelerates the entry of Versalis in that business by strengthening its leadership in elastomers, in line with the new strategy of focusing on products with high-added value," Ferrari added.

Butadiene is used to produce rubber for electrical appliances, footwear, plastics, asphalt modifiers, additives for lubricating oil, pipes, building components and latex.

Catia Bastioli, Novamont CEO, said the partners will have a great opportunity to apply Novamont's third generation integrated biorefineries concept to chemicals such as butadiene.

"And the ability for on-purpose production will make it easier to adjust supply to meet local market demand while staying close to a low volatility feedstock and reducing environmental footprint," Bastioli added.

Genomatica CEO Christophe Schilling said: "Versalis and Novamont are ideal partners to join us in leading the development of process technology for the production of butadiene from renewable feedstocks."