A Step Closer to Renewable Rubber
Genencor announced the first transfer of BioIsoprene product – designed to provide an alternative to petrochemically derived isoprene, a key intermediate for synthetic rubber production – to Goodyear. Four containers of the clear liquid were handed over to Goodyear at Genencor’s Palo Alto, California, research facility. “This is a historical moment, after substantial research on this technology,” said Rich LaDuca, senior director of business development at Genencor. “It signifies a new era in biochemicals. We’re excited to be ushering in a future where tyres and many other products will be produced with renewable materials.”
Genencor, a division of Danisco A/S, and Goodyear first announced their research collaboration on the technology and integrated production system for BioIsoprene product in September 2008. BioIsoprene is derived from renewable raw materials, and represents a significant development within the biochemical and rubber industries. Aside from synthetic rubber for tyre production, traditional isoprene is used for the production of a wide range of products, such as surgical gloves, golf balls and adhesives. Thus, the potential for BioIsoprene is substantial, according to the companies.
Goodyear said it shares Genencor’s vision of lessening industry impact on the environment by applying renewable raw materials in the supply chain. “As we outlined in 2008, we believe it’s important to look at alternative renewable raw materials in our production processes,” said Jesse Roeck, director of global materials science at Goodyear. “We chose to work with Genencor based on our strategy of Open Innovation and because they are one of the leaders in industrial biotechnology.”
The two organisations collaborate on designing an integrated production system for BioIsoprene product, and are on schedule to meet both technological and commercial milestones within the agreement. Commercial availability of the product is planned for 2013. (Tire Review/Akron)