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Tire producer Bridgestone and food ingredient manufacturer Ajinomoto have developed a process for making synthetic rubber with isoprene obtained from biomass. Currently, polyisoprene rubber is extracted from rubber trees or made synthetically. Ajinomoto says it has been able to produce biomass-based isoprene in its labs using a fermentation process enabled by enzymes. The two Japanese companies will decide next year whether to proceed with commercialization.
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