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Verdezyne opens first pilot plant to produce 'green' nylon
Dec '11
Verdezyne Inc, a privately held industrial biotechnology company focused on producing renewable chemicals and fuels from non-petroleum sources has opened its first pilot plant to produce adipic acid, a key component of nylon 6,6. The new facility, located in Carlsbad, California will be used to accelerate the commercialization of Verdezyne's bio-based adipic acid, which is one of two components used to manufacture 'green' nylon 6,6 and thermoplastic polyurethane resins from renewable sources, such as non-food based vegetable oils.

“We are excited to achieve this key milestone,” said Dr. E. William Radany, president and CEO of Verdezyne. “This is the first demonstration of the production of bio-based adipic acid at scale from a non-petroleum source. Our novel yeast platform enables production of adipic acid at a lower cost than current petrochemical manufacturing processes.”

In addition to lower production costs, Verdezyne's method for producing adipic acid offers a number of advantages over petroleum-based methods. The company's yeast fermentation process uses non-food, plant-based feedstocks to produce a variety of commercial diacids. Moreover, Verdezyne's production methods are expected to generate less CO2 and other pollutants as compared with incumbent methods.

A variety of products are currently produced worldwide from petroleum-based nylon, including engineered plastics, carpets, clothing and other assorted textiles. Production of these types of products translates to an adipic acid market of more than $6 billion globally.

“We are thrilled about the opening of our pilot plant,” said Dr. Stephen Picataggio, chief scientific officer of Verdezyne. “This plant will allow us to demonstrate the scalability of our process, validate our cost projections and generate sufficient quantities of material for commercial market development.”

Verdezyne is an industrial biotechnology company using proven and proprietary metabolic pathway engineering tools to develop unique yeast strains for cost-effective production of bio-based chemicals and fuels. Current investors in Verdezyne include BP Alternative Energy Ventures, DSM Venturing B.V., OVP Venture Partners and Monitor Ventures.

Verdezyne Inc

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