Asahi Kasei corp. has formed a strategic partnership with Genomatica, Inc., regarding hexamethylenediamine (HMD) based on biomass-derived raw material (bio-HMD).
Asahi Kasei currently uses fossil fuel–derived HMD as an intermediate to manufacture Leona™ polyamide 661,2 (also called nylon 66), an engineering plastic featuring outstanding heat resistance and rigidity. Polyamide 66 is used for plastic parts in automotive and electronics applications, as well as yarn for airbag fabric. Demand for polyamide 66 is expected to increase worldwide.
As the world moves toward carbon neutrality, attention is increasingly focused on solutions for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from chemical products derived from fossil fuels. The strategic alliance with Genomatica provides Asahi Kasei with preferential rights to access the early volume of bio-HMD to evaluate the possibility as a feedstock of polyamide 66, enabling Asahi Kasei to accelerate trials of polyamide 66 made using biomass-derived intermediate. Genomatica has an established track record of commercializing manufacturing technology for various chemical products using biotechnology. By using this bio-HMD with its own polyamide 66 polymerization technology, Asahi Kasei aims to support its goal to be first-to-market with more sustainable polyamide 66 made using biomass-derived intermediate for the automotive and electronics application of plastics components and industrial fiber.
Asahi Kasei moreover expects that this use of biotechnology will contribute to reaching its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050, while also alleviating the environmental burden throughout the life cycle of customers’ products.
Asahi Kasei will continue to strive for adoption of biomass-derived intermediates for its engineering plastics in addition to polyamide 66, while proactively utilizing recycled material, aiming to be a global sustainable partner for its customers.