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Materials

Braskem Joins Pact Pursuing Bioisoprene

by Michael McCoy
September 15, 2014 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 92, ISSUE 37

Brazil’s Braskem is joining an existing collaboration between the biobased chemical company Amyris and the tire maker Michelin to commercialize biomass-derived isoprene. A key synthetic rubber ingredient, isoprene is now obtained as a by-product of ethylene production, but output is decreasing as companies switch to lighter feedstocks. With its ethanol-derived polyethylene, Braskem considers itself to be the world’s leading biopolymers producer. DuPont and Goodyear have run a competing bioisoprene venture since 2008.

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