Asahi Kasei targets polyamide 66 polymerization with bio-HMDA
Japanese Asahi Kasei has formed a strategic partnership with Genomatica Inc. on hexamethylenediamine (HMDA) based on raw materials derived from biomass. Asahi Kasei currently uses fossil fuel-derived HMDA as an intermediate to manufacture grades of its polyamide (PA) 66 Leona. PA 66 is used in automotive and electronics applications, and as a yarn for airbag fabric. The demand for PA 66 is expected to increase worldwide.
Prior to this announcement, German materials manufacturer Covestro and Genomatica announced in January the first successful production of commercially significant volumes of a plant-based version of HMDA.
In addition to PA 66, PA 6I and PA 612 made using HMDA, Asahi Kasei also manufactures Polyamide 610 using an intermediate derived from castor oil. As the world moves towards carbon neutrality, attention is increasingly focused on solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from chemicals derived from fossil fuels. Strategic alliance with Genomatica provides Asahi Kasei with preferential rights to access early volumes of bio-HMDA to evaluate its potential as a PA 66 feedstock, enabling Asahi Kasei to accelerate trials of manufactured PA 66 using an intermediate derived from biomass.
Genomatica has a proven track record in commercializing manufacturing technologies for various chemicals using biotechnology. By using this bio-HMDA with its own PA 66 polymerization technology, Asahi Kasei aims to support its goal of being first to market with a more sustainable PA 66 made from biomass-derived intermediates for automotive applications. and electronics, as well as industrial fiber. . Asahi Kasei expects this use of biotechnology to help achieve its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050.