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 Biologically Derived Succinic Acid (BDSA) Production
  • Biologically Derived Succinic Acid (BDSA) Production
  • A revolutionary new process converts corn into a cost-efficient, environmentally friendly source of the chemicals used to make polymers, clothing fibers, solvents,
    paints, inks, food additives, automobile bumpers, and an array of other industrial and consumer products. Known as the BDSA (Biologically Derived Succinic Acid)
    process, it uses a novel microorganism in fermentation and new catalytic technology in the value-added step. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory participated in
    developing the technology, along with Argonne National Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
    The BDSA process produces succinic acid by fermenting glucose sugar from corn,separating and purifying the acid, and catalytically processing it as a platform chemical
    to produce 1,4-butanediol (BDO) and related products, tetrahydrofuran and γ-butyrolactone; n-methyl pyrrolidinone (NMP) and 2-pyrrolidinone; or other chemicals
    that are used to make a wide assortment of products. Existing domestic markets for such chemicals total almost 1 billion pounds, or more than $l.3B, each year. The new
    process also promises to reduce reliance on imported oil and to expand markets for domestic agriculture to more than food sources.
    Succinic Acid Fermentation
    The BDSA process uses a robust microorganism to convert corn-derived glucose to succinic acid at very high yields. Argonne National Laboratory has filed a patent for
    this microbe. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, developer of the fermentation process, has filed a patent application claiming the optimal use of the Argonne microbe for
    high-yield, high-productivity fermentation.
    Succinic Acid Recovery/purification
    Argonne researchers tested process conditions for two-stage desalting and watersplitting electrodialysis, which concentrates, purifies, and acidifies the succinic acid,
    allowing the base to be recycled to the fermentation (where it is used for neutralization).
    Succinic Acid Catalytic Conversion
    Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory developed the catalytic technology for converting succinic acid to commodity chemicals, the final step in the
    conversion process. New processing technology has been identified for both the BDO product slate and the NMP-related products. Innovations include direct
    catalysis in the purified aqueous broth and methods to handle fermentation byproducts such as acetic acid. The catalyst formulation technology is being further
    refined for use in other process applications to produce chemicals from renewable feedstocks.

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    Next: Recovery of succinic acid
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