NEW YORK CITY/TOKYO — March 15, 2022 — Asahi Kasei, a diversified Japanese multinational company, 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 6,61,2 (also called nylon 6,6), an engineering plastic featuring outstanding heat resistance and rigidity. Polyamide 6,6 is used for plastic parts in automotive and electronics applications, as well as yarn for airbag fabric. Demand for polyamide 6,6 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 6,6, 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 6,6 polymerization technology, Asahi Kasei aims to support its goal to be first-to-market with more sustainable polyamide 6,6 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.
1 The main types of polyamide are polyamide 66 and polyamide 6, which have different chemical structures. With superior heat resistance and strength, polyamide 66 is widely used in industrial applications such as automotive and electronics. Polyamide 6 is widely used as apparel fiber.
2 Various types of Leona™ polyamide: In addition to polyamide 66, polyamide 6I, and polyamide 612 made using HMD, Asahi Kasei manufactures polyamide 610 using intermediate derived from castor oil. Asahi Kasei is the only polyamide 66 manufacturer in Asia with fully integrated production from raw materials to resin compounds, supplying material suited to various needs ranging from plastic moldings for automotive and electronics applications to airbag yarn and fabric, and tire cord.
Posted: March 15, 2022
Source: Asahi Kasei/Genomatica Inc.