Covestro And Genomatica Tout Plant-Based HMDA

Jan. 21, 2022
Covestro and Genomatica produce important chemical raw material using biotechnology.

Material manufacturer Covestro and biotechnology company Genomatica announce they have teamed to successfully produce significant volumes of a plant-based version of the chemical raw material HMDA (hexamethylenediamine). The companies say they expect to produce ton quantities of high-quality material over the course of multiple production campaigns. Both partners are reportedly already processing and testing material from their initial production campaigns and say the resulting bio-HMDA is of high purity and quality. The companies plan to advance the program to full commercial scale, and Covestro reportedly has secured an option from Genomatica to license the resulting integrated GENO HMD process technology for commercial production. 

HMDA, with a worldwide market of 2 million tons per year, according to the companies, is a key ingredient for a widely used type of nylon (nylon-6,6), as well as an important component for raw materials for coatings and adhesives from Covestro. Up to now, HMDA has been manufactured from fossil feedstocks. Coatings and adhesives reportedly can be produced more sustainably due to bio-based HMDA, made from renewable feedstocks. Areas of application include automotive, construction, furniture, textiles and fibers.

Genomatica develops widely used ingredients and materials using biotechnology and renewable, plant-based feedstocks rather than fossil feedstocks and their associated extractive processing methods. These materials are used by brands and their suppliers in popular goods ranging from apparel to cosmetics. Covestro brings extensive know-how in the field of research, chemical process technology and application development.

"This program is of great importance to us, because markets are increasingly asking for more environmentally friendly products based on renewable raw materials, which are just as powerful as their fossil-based alternatives," says Dr. Thorsten Dreier, global head of Covestro’s entity coatings and adhesives business. "We can reduce this dependence on fossil feedstocks with innovative technology and our partnership. With a purely plant-based HMDA, we can significantly advance our corporate objective of CO2-neutral production."

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