Home / News / Japan’s Asahi Kasei collaborates with Genomatica for bio-based HMD

Japan's Asahi Kasei collaborates with Genomatica for bio-based HMD

23 Mar '22
2 min read
Pic: Shutterstock.com
Pic: Shutterstock.com

Japanese chemical company Asahi Kasei has formed a strategic partnership with Genomatica, Inc., regarding hexamethylenediamine (HMD) based on biomass-derived raw material (bio-HMD). Asahi Kasei currently uses fossil fuel-derived HMD as an intermediate to manufacture Leona polyamide 66 (also called nylon 66), an engineering plastic featuring outstanding heat resistance and rigidity.

The strategic alliance with Genomatica provides Asahi Kasei with preferential rights to access the early volume of bio-HMD to evaluate the possibility as a feedstock of polyamide 66, enabling Asahi Kasei to accelerate trials of polyamide 66 made using biomass-derived intermediate. Genomatica has an established track record of commercialising manufacturing technology for various chemical products using biotechnology. By using this bio-HMD with its own polyamide 66 polymerisation technology, Asahi Kasei aims to support its goal to be first-to-market with more sustainable polyamide 66 made using biomass-derived intermediate for the automotive and electronics application of plastics components and industrial fibre, the two companies said in a joint media release.

Moreover, the Japanese chemical company expects that this use of biotechnology will contribute to reaching its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050, while also alleviating the environmental burden throughout the life cycle of customers’ products.

“Just as the sustainable energy transition is reinventing how we power our lives; we are at the start of a sustainable material’s transition that will reinvent the products we use every day and where they come from. Genomatica’s partnership with Asahi Kasei utilising the GENO HMD process for nylon 66 and other specialty nylons marks another important step forward in this transition and leads the way toward more renewably-sourced, bio-based manufacturing plants replacing those utilising fossil fuels,” Christophe Schilling, CEO, Genomatica, said.

“Asahi Kasei is proud to be a leader in our industrial technology, incorporating bio-based materials into our products in our drive to become carbon neutral in the coming years. Sustainability is a core piece of Asahi Kasei’s strategy and Genomatica’s strong history of commercial success has made them an essential partner in this mission. We anticipate a strong start and look forward to moving to commercial-scale together,” Dr. Shigeki Takayama, chief technology officer and representative director on the board of directors of Asahi Kasei, stated.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (SF)

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