31. Oct 2023

Scale up of plant-based specialty chemicals and biobased building blocks

Scale up of plant-based specialty chemicals and biobased building blocks

Solugen (Houston TX, USA), a rapidly scaling climate technology company that is reimagining the chemistry of everyday life, and ADM (Chicago, IL, USA), a global leader in sustainable solutions, recently announced a strategic partnership to scale a range of innovative, plant-based specialty chemicals and biobased building block molecules in a new manufacturing facility in Marshall, Minnesota (USA).

Under the terms of the agreement, Solugen will build a new 46,000m² biomanufacturing facility adjacent to ADM’s existing corn complex in Marshall. The facility will utilize ADM-provided dextrose to scale its current line of lower-carbon organic acids and develop new, innovative molecules to replace existing fossil fuel-based materials. The companies also plan to collaborate on commercialization opportunities of these biomaterials for a range of applications including energy, water treatment, agriculture, construction materials, cleaning, personal care, and more.

“The strategic partnership with ADM will allow Solugen to bring our chemienzymatic process to a commercial scale and meet existing customer demand for our high-performance, cost-competitive, sustainable products”, said Gaurab Chakrabarti, Co-Founder and CEO of Solugen. “As one of the few scaled-up and de-risked biomanufacturing assets in the country, Solugen’s Bioforge platform is helping bolster domestic capabilities and supply chains that are critical in ensuring the U.S. reaches its ambitious climate targets”.

Leveraging a first-of-its-kind combination of computationally engineered enzymes and metal catalysts, Solugen’s Bioforge converts plant-derived substances into essential materials that have traditionally been made from fossil fuels. The high efficiency and scalability of Solugen’s process can offer a significant reduction in carbon footprint compared with conventional ingredients.

Chris Cuddy, president of ADM’s Carbohydrate Solutions business, said, “ADM is one of the largest dextrose producers in the world, and this strategic partnership will allow us to further diversify our product stream as we continue to support plant-based solutions spanning sustainable packaging, pharma, plant health, construction, fermentation, and home and personal care”.

Solugen plans to begin offsite construction this year and on-site construction in early 2024. The initial phase, which is scheduled to start up in the first half of 2025, is expected to create at least 40 permanent jobs and another 100 temporary construction jobs during commissioning. AT


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