The Yokohama Rubber Co, Ltd has developed the world’s first technology for producing butadiene (BD) from a biomass. The breakthrough was achieved by the Bio-monomer Production Laboratory jointly established with the Riken and synthetic rubber manufacturer Zeon Corporation. Yokohama Rubber, Riken Centre for Sustainable Resource Science (CSRS), and Zeon have been cooperating in joint research projects since 2013.
The joint research team has created cells with excellent BD-producing ability using new artificial pathways and enzymes. This makes it possible to go through cheaper intermediates than conventional metabolic pathways, and by incorporating the knowledge of the enzymes that have been developed thus far, the cost of butadiene fermentative production will be significantly reduced. The study is published in Nature Communications journal. The team also has succeeded in producing polybutadiene rubber from the butadiene produced by the world‘s first fermentation production using this new technology.