Ludwigshafen, Germany — BASF said it has produced its first commercial volumes of 1,4-butanediol (BDO) with the raw material dextrose, which comes from renewable corn starch.
Reliant on a patented fermentation technology from Californian company Genomatica, BASF said the material is comparable to petrochemical-based BDO.
BASF said it plans to expand its portfolio with selected BDO derivatives based on renewable feedstock, including Polytetrahydrofuran (PolyTHF) – or polytetramethylene ether glycol, PTMEG.
Klaus-Peter Rieser, head of global communication intermediates, described the product as “a starting point”. The company would look to evaluate second generation bio-meth alternatives to corn starch in the future.
BASF currently produces BDO and BDO equivalents at its sites in Ludwigshafen, Germany; Geismar, Louisiana; Chiba, Japan; Kuantan, Malaysia and Caojing, China.
In July, BASF announced plans to increase its global capacities for BDO to 650 kT/year and for PolyTHF to 350 kT/year before 2016.