DSM and Roquette on target to commercialise bio-based succinic acid by end 2009

Netherlands-based Royal DSM NV and the French starch and starch-derivatives company Roquette have confimed that their bio-based succinic acid demonstration plant in Lestrem (France) will be operational by the end of 2009. The pilot scale production has proven that this biological route for producing succinic acid can be commercially viable. The first tests for customers are already underway with this "green" succinic acid.

DSM and Roquette have developed a method of producing succinic acid from starch using an enzyme-based fermentation technology

Netherlands-based Royal DSM NV and the French starch and starch-derivatives company Roquette have confimed that their bio-based succinic acid demonstration plant in Lestrem (France) will be operational by the end of 2009. The pilot scale production has proven that this biological route for producing succinic acid can be commercially viable. The first tests for customers are already underway with this "green" succinic acid.

For the first time succinic acid - a chemical building block used in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, polymers, resins and food among other products - will be produced using biological means.

DSM and Roquette have developed a method to produce succinic acid from starch using an innovative enzyme-based fermentation technology rather than the traditional ingredients, crude oil and natural gas.

The Lestrem demonstration plant will enable this manufacturing process to be refined further before it is scaled-up to full commercial industrial production in 2011/2012.

This new white biotechnology-based route could result in up to 40% reduction in energy requirements compared with the traditional method, and have a positive impact on reducing CO2 emissions, as carbon dioxide is actually used in the production process.

Marc Roquette, chairman of Roquette, said: "As well as the proven environmental benefits of producing succinic acid through a bio route rather than a chemical one, new production techniques also bring with them the potential for new, better-performing products to deliver further environmental benefits and extra functionality to those products that are in the market today."

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