LUDWIGSHAFEN, Germany—A collaboration between BASF S.E. and U.S. technology firm Renmatix Inc. could boost BASF's 1,4-butanediol capacity.
The companies have agreed jointly to scale up Renmatix's patented Plantrose process for the production of industrial sugars based on lignocellulosic (plant dry matter) biomass.
Created using supercritical water—water at high temperature and pressure—the Renmatix process breaks down wood, straw, agricultural waste and other sources of non-food biomass into sugars that may be used in biofuels and chemical products.
These industrial sugars can be used by micro-organisms to produce BDO, a component of polyester polyols, polyether polyols and polyurethane.
BASF invested $30 million in the King of Prussia, Pa.-based company in January 2012.