Phthalic anhydride has been incorporated into thousands of everyday products, from paints to shoes to children's toys. Derived from crude oil, it has a significant environmental footprint. Estimates indicate that the total market for phthalic anhydride is approximately $6.2 billion at current prices.
Recently, health concerns have arisen regarding the use of petroleum-based phthalic anhydride derivatives, called phthalates, in consumer plastics. Studies have determined that the widespread use of phthalates in consumer packaging has led to a wide range of detrimental health effects including birth defects and liver cancer, causing many governments to ban the use of certain phthalates in various consumer applications.
As a result, chemical companies are increasingly looking to incorporate renewable chemical replacements for phthalates into their existing production processes. Myriant's bio-succinic acid performs similarly in formulations that use phthalic anhydride. Structural similarity of our product minimizes performance changes, and in some cases, offers performance improvements.
Maleic Anhydride (MAN) is an organic chemical intermediate that is used in the production of butanediol, or BDO, another chemical intermediate used to make food packaging, specialty fibers such as Spandex® and Lycra®, as well as popular adhesive tapes and polyurethane foams. Petroleum-derived MAN is often made from benzene, a known carcinogen.
Myriant has partnered with Johnson Matthey - Davy Technologies (JM Davy), one of the world leaders in the production of MAN-derived BDO, to demonstrate that our bio-succinic acid can be utilized in JM Davy's process as a direct replacement for MAN. Combining the efficiencies of Myriant's bio-succinic acid process and the JM Davy BDO/THF process, the bio-butanediol and bio-tetrahydrofuran has an overall carbon efficiency of 87%, believed to be substantially better than the carbon efficiency achieved in the direct fermentation route to bio-butanediol. JM Davy will also provide process and performance guarantees for commercial grade bio-butanediol, bio-tetrahydrofuran and bio-gamma-butyrolactone made from Myriant's bio-succinic acid.
The result of our partnership with JM Davy enables our customers to produce bio-BDO from renewably sourced succinic acid resulting in cost-competitive bio-BDO.