Asahi Kasei, a diverse Japanese multinational corporation, has struck a strategic relationship with Genomatica Inc. in the field of hexamethylenediamine (HMD) obtained from biomass (bio-HMD).
Asahi Kasei presently employs HMD produced from fossil fuels as an intermediate in the production of LeonaTM polyamide 6,61,2 (also known as nylon 6,6), an engineering plastic with excellent heat resistance and rigidity. Plastic parts in automotive and electronics applications, as well as yarn for airbag fabric, are made of polyamide 6,6. Polyamide 6,6 is projected to grow in popularity around the world.
As the world moves closer to carbon neutrality, strategies for lowering greenhouse gas emissions from chemical products produced from fossil fuels are becoming increasingly important. As a result of the strategic collaboration with Genomatica, Asahi Kasei has priority access to the early volume of bio-HMD to evaluate its potential as a polyamide 6,6 feedstock, allowing Asahi Kasei to speed up trials of polyamide 66 manufactured from biomass-derived intermediate.
Genomatica has a proven track record of commercializing biotechnology-based manufacturing technologies for a variety of chemical products. Asahi Kasei hopes to support its goal of being first-to-market with more sustainable polyamide 6,6 made using biomass-derived intermediate for automotive and electronics applications of plastics components and industrial fibre by combining this bio-HMD with its own polyamide 6,6 polymerization technology.
Asahi Kasei also anticipates that its use of biotechnology will help it achieve its objective of becoming carbon neutral by 2050, while also reducing the environmental impact of its customers' products throughout their life cycle.
Asahi Kasei will continue to push for the adoption of biomass-derived intermediates in addition to polyamide 66 for its engineering plastics, as well as proactive recycling, in order to be a global sustainable partner for its clients.
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