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BASF will exit its partnership with enzyme firm Novozymes and agribusiness giant Cargill to scale up a process to make biobased acrylic acid from sugar. Novozymes and Cargill began the project in 2008 to convert corn sugar to 3-hydroxypropionic acid. 3-HP is a precursor to acrylic acid, which is used to make superabsorbent polymers for products such as diapers. BASF joined the other two partners in 2012 and developed technology to convert 3-HP into acrylic acid. In September the three companies said they would build a pilot plant to produce superabsorbent polymers. But BASF says its hygiene business could not reach targets for commercialization and does not believe that an investment to scale up the project is viable.
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