Building a biochemicals industry

Biochemicals produced from renewable raw materials meet a global need for innovative and sustainable alternatives to oil-based chemicals.

Biochemicals produced from renewable raw materials

Growing populations and wealth combined with oil scarcity and oil price volatility create an increasing global need for innovative alternatives to oil-based chemicals. Novozymes has unique capabilities to meet this need through our world-leading biotechnology platform.
 
By leveraging Novozymes’ core technologies, we enable cost-competitive production of sustainable biochemicals. Biochemicals are produced from renewable raw materials such as corn, wheat, soy, and sugarcane. As an even more sustainable alternative to oil-based chemicals, we explore opportunities for producing chemicals from biomass such as corn stover.
 
Analysts and researchers in one scenario estimate that the share of biochemicals will be up to 17% of the global chemical market by 2025. Today the biochemicals market represents less than 10% of total global chemicals sales; this figure excludes biofuels.
 

Bioinnovation key to biochemical success

Sugars from renewable sources are often the starting point in the production of biochemicals. At Novozymes these sugars are then transformed into building blocks for industrial biochemicals, either by enzymes or by microorganisms that have been genetically optimized for a specific purpose through metabolic engineering. Novozymes has more than 30 years of industrial experience of genetically optimizing microorganisms, including microorganisms for the production of enzymes.
 
Novozymes’ biotechnology platform consists of a long series of technologies ranging from gene technology to advanced screening and industrial fermentation. This platform enables us to continuously improve productivity and provide new opportunities for many different industries. Step by step we are moving the world toward a biobased society.
 
Since starting activities in the biochemicals area, Novozymes has initiated a number of very challenging R&D projects to develop building blocks for a variety of bulk biochemicals such as acrylic acid and polypropylene. These can be converted into materials such as super absorbers for diapers and plastic packaging.
 
Read about two areas in which we are currently searching for partners:​ C4 acids and green polypropylene.
 

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