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Sustainably Produced Bio-based 1,4-Butanediol—Fermentation from Renewable Sugar (e.g. Dextrose), Recovery, Purification (including Distillation) from By-Products, and Uses as an Interchangeable Substitute for Petroleum-derived 1,4-butanediol in Making Polyesters and other Polymers Disclosure Number: IPCOM000227994D
Publication Date: 2013-May-31
Document File: 5 page(s) / 35K

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The Prior Art Database


Bio-based 1,4-butanediol (bio-BDO), produced by fermentation on dextrose sugars, was produced at high purity (greater than 98.6%), colorless, with no or relatively low levels of impurities, particularly nitrogen compounds, GBL, aldehydes and ketones. This bio-BDO was successfully used to generate polyesters, including polybutylene terephthalate (PBT), in reactions previously used with petroleum-derived 1,4-butanediol (petro-derived BDO). Bio-BDO finds use as a raw material drop-in in any of the many uses known for petro-derived BDO, including reactions with diols, diacids and/or di-isocyanates to make polymers including polyester, PBT, aliphatic polyesters, polybutylene succinate (PBS), polyurethane, thermoplastic copolyester elastomers, plastics and biodegradable plastics and their use to make products including molded articles, films, fibers and parts for automotive, electrical, water systems and small appliance applications. The polymers are further enhanced by polymer blending (e.g. polyester ethers (COPE)) and/or by modifying with fillers, reinforcing-agents, coloring-agents, UV-resistance agents, etc. Bio-BDO is also chemical converted to tetrahydrofuran (THF) to make polymers including polytetramethylene ether glycol (PTMEG) used to make spandex fibers and COPE, and to gamma-butyrolactone (GBL).

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Bio-Derived 1,4-Butanediol—an Effective and Interchangeable Substitute for Petroleum-Derived BDO                                                                                                      (31 May 2013)


1,4-Butanediol (BDO) is an intermediate chemical valuable for a wide variety of applications including plastics, biodegradable plastics, films, athletic apparel, electronics and automotive parts.  BDO produced from renewable feedstocks (bio-BDO) is a global priority for enhanced sustainability and reducing carbon and environmental footprint compared to petroleum-based processes.  Bio-BDO of high quality was produced at pilot and commercial scale. The bio-BDO was from 98.6% to 99.9% pure, having 100% bio-based carbon content (according to the ASTM 6866 standard), with little to no impurities that might adversely affect downstream applications. The Bio-BDO was used in polymerization reactions commonly used with petro-derived BDO to make bio-based polymers including the polyester polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) that were in turn used to make molded plastic products—polymers and products that are effective “green” substitutes for their petroleum-derived counterparts. Bio-BDO can be used as a drop-in, interchangeable substitute in any of the many processes and products produced using petro-derived BDO without undesirable effects. 

Materials and Methods


Bio-BDO was produced directly from fermentation of glucose in dextrose using bacteria genetically engineered with a pathway converting glucose to bio-BDO. See Yim et al. “Metabolic engineering of Escherichia coli for direct production of 1,4-butanediol”  Nature  vol. 7, pg. 445-452 (2011; published online 22 May 2011);  WO2008115840A2 entitled “Compositions and Methods for the Biosynthesis of 1,4-Butanediol and Its Precursors” published 25 Sept. 2008;  and WO2009023493A1 entitled “Methods and Organisms for the Growth-Coupled Production of 1,4-Butanediol” published 19 Feb. 2009.   Production was performed at 13,000 liter and commercial scale (600,000 liter) using genetically engineered E. coli. at commercial scale; greater than 2300 metric tons of bio-BDO was produced in five weeks in multiple fermentation runs. 

Bio-BDO has also been produced by indirect or semi-synthetic routes, for example by fermentation produced succinic acid with its subsequent chemical conversion to BDO.  See for example WO2011123270A1 entitled “Processes for the Production of Tetrahydrofuran, Gamma-Butyrolactone and/or Butanediol from Salts of Succinic Acid” published 6 Oct. 2011; WO2011123269A1 entitled “Processes for the Production of Tetrahydrofuran, Gamma-Butyrolactone and/or Butanediol from Salts of Succinic Acid” published 6 Oct. 2011; and WO2009024294A1 entitled “Microbial Succinic Acid Producer Mannheimia Succini Producens Ddl” published 26 Fe...