Bio-BDO venture by Cargill and Helm
Agribusiness giant Cargill and German chemical marketing and distribution firm Helm have formed a joint venture called Qore and will invest $300 million to build the first commercial-scale, renewable 1,4-butanediol (BDO) facility in the US. This will be located at Cargill’s biotechnology campus and corn refining operation in Eddyville, Iowa, and should be in operation in 2024.
Qore has licensed Genomatica’s BDO process technology and is using Cargill’s global feedstock supply and fermentation manufacturing expertise to produce at least 65,000 tonnes/year, under the brand name Qira. Helm will work with brand owners, OEMs and their suppliers to incorporate Qira into their products.
Qira is made via the fermentation of plant-based sugars and it is claimed, can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 93% compared to the manufacture of the same chemical intermediates from fossil sources. Applications include fibres, biodegradable plastics, polyurethane coatings, sealants and artificial leathers.