Biotech firm develops renewable butadiene

butadieneGLOBAL Bioenergies SA, a French biotechnology company, received from Poland-based Synthos some EUR1.5 million (US$2 million) in funding to develop a biological process for converting plant material into butadiene, an oil-derived chemical used for producing synthetic rubber ( as well as plastics, latex and nylon).

Aside from the fund, Global Bioenergies will also get several million euros annually from Synthos to continue developing the technology. The development will span three years, said Global Bioenergies CEO Marc Delcourt.

The funding has been critical for the company’s project as, according to Delcourt, it is costly.

Synthos will have the rights to use the renewable butadiene for rubber and each time it uses the technology, it will pay royalities to Global Bioenergies. The latter still retains the rights to the butadiene technology for non-rubber applications. (RJA)