MINNEAPOLIS, MN, Nov. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - BioAmber will be the supplier of biobased succinic acid to a Faurecia-Mitsubishi Chemical partnership for the production of automotive plastics. Faurecia has been conducting research into bioplastics derived from 100% natural materials since 2006 (BioMat project) and has now signed an exclusive industrial partnership agreement with Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation to co-develop bioplastics designed for mass-production for use in automotive interiors. Faurecia plans to develop a full range of bioplastics, which are set to see a boom in the 2015 to 2020 period.
The environmental constraints associated with vehicle weight reduction and the regulations intended to increase the recyclability of materials used in the automotive industry (85% in Europe by 2015) call for increased use of new materials derived from natural resources, which will ultimately replace petroleum-based plastics. This initiative also aims to ensure that the materials used have a positive impact on the product lifecycle (from initial extraction through to end-of-life).
The objective of the joint Faurecia-Mitsubishi Chemical program is to develop a polymer that can be used in mass-production for automotive interior parts (door panel trim strip, structural instrument panel and console inserts, air ducts, door panel inserts, etc.). The joint development will start by modifying Mitsubishi Chemical's patented biomass-derived poly-butylene succinate (PBS) and ultimately target to be produced from 100% bio sources. BioAmber will be the supplier of bio-based succinic acid to the partnership. Under the terms of the agreement, Faurecia will hold exclusive rights to automotive applications of the specific polymers jointly developed under this project. This project builds on several years of development work carried out jointly with BioAmber, the leading specialist in bio-based succinic acid technology.
Nicolas Pechnyk, Vice President Engineering for Faurecia Interior Systems, explains: "This strategic agreement with Mitsubishi Chemical will make Faurecia the first automotive equipment supplier to mass-produce a 100% bio-based plastic. We are confident about the future of this technology as a substitute for petroleum-based plastic components; indeed, it is one of the main thrusts of our strategic initiative 'bio-attitude'."
Shigeru Handa, General Manager of Mitsubishi Chemical's Sustainable Resources Business Development Department, comments: "We are convinced that Faurecia's commitment to sustainability is in line with Mitsubishi Chemical's "KAITEKI" concept. We believe our strengths in biotechnology, polymer development, and patent position will contribute to this partnership with Faurecia".
The agreement will enable three market leaders to pool their respective strengths: Faurecia, no. 1 worldwide in automotive interiors, Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, one of the world's largest chemical companies and BioAmber, a pioneer in the production of bio-based succinic acid.
About BioAmber Inc.
BioAmber is a next generation chemicals company. Its proprietary technology platform combines industrial biotechnology and chemical catalysis to convert renewable feedstocks into chemicals including succinic acid and 1,4-butanediol, which are used in a wide variety of everyday products such as plastics, food additives and personal care products. For more information visit the company's web site at: www.bio-amber.com
Faurecia is the world's sixth-largest automotive equipment supplier with four key Business Groups: Automotive Seating, Emissions Control Technologies, Interior Systems and Automotive Exteriors. In 2011, the Group posted total sales of €16.2 billion ($22.5 billion). At December 31, 2011, Faurecia employed 84,000 people in 33 countries at 270 sites and 40 R&D centers. Faurecia is listed on the NYSE Euronext Paris stock exchange. For more information, visit: www.faurecia.com
About Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation
Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation is Japan's leading chemical company and a core operating company of the Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Group. At the Group, we serve our customers by using our chemistry-based technology platforms for the development of a wide range of technologies and products in the fields of performance products, healthcare, and industrial materials. Under the Group philosophy, "Good Chemistry for Tomorrow", we established a new concept, KAITEKI which encompasses sustainability, health, and comfort. We aim to realize a truly sustainable state of comfort, not only for individuals but for society and the earth as a whole, through providing our technologies and products. As the Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Group, we posted net sales of about ¥3.2 trillion ($40 billion) in fiscal year ended March 2012 and had more than 53,000 employees as of the end of the year. Further information about Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings and Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation is available on our websites: www.mitsubishichem-hd.co.jp/english/ and www.m-kagaku.co.jp/index_en.htm, respectively.
SOURCE BIOAMBER CANADA INC.