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Published on September 23, 2010

Development of a Bio-Based Process for Isoprene

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Date Published September 23, 2010
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Genencor, A Danisco Division, and The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company are developing a revolutionary BioIsoprene™ alternative for petroleum derived isoprene. Isoprene is a key chemical required to produce a diverse range of industrial products including a wide variety of specialty elastomers used in surgical gloves, motor mounts and fittings, rubber bands, golf balls, and shoes. Styrene-isoprene-styrene block copolymers form an essential part of hot-melt pressure-sensitive adhesive formulations, and cis-polyisoprene is used in tire manufacture. All of the world’s isoprene is produced from petroleum-derived feedstocks and is subject to volatility in pricing and supply linked to oil. The development of BioIsoprene™ monomer could make the tire and rubber industry less dependent on petroleum through utilization of renewable feedstocks. This paper describes our approach for developing a scalable and commercially relevant bioprocess for isoprene production (BioIsoprene™).