Solugen, a climate technology company, and ADM have unveiled a strategic partnership aimed at enhancing the production of plant-based organic acids.
The companies plan to achieve this by constructing a manufacturing facility in Marshall, Minnesota, adjacent to ADM’s existing corn complex.
The new facility, encompassing 500,000 square feet, will mark a significant step in the scaling of Solugen’s unique chemienzymatic process. It will leverage ADM’s supply of dextrose to expand the production of lower-carbon organic acids, and it will also explore the development of novel molecules to replace conventional fossil fuel-based materials.
The collaboration aims to commercialise these biomaterials across diverse sectors, including energy, water treatment, agriculture, construction materials, cleaning products, personal care, and more.
Gaurab Chakrabarti, co-founder and CEO of Solugen, commented: “The strategic partnership with ADM will allow Solugen to bring our chemienzymatic process to a commercial scale and meet existing customer demand for our high-performance, cost-competitive, sustainable products. As one of the few scaled-up and de-risked biomanufacturing assets in the country, Solugen’s Bioforge platform is helping bolster domestic capabilities and supply chains that are critical in ensuring the US reaches its ambitious climate targets.”
Solugen’s Bioforge is a platform that employs a combination of computationally engineered enzymes and metal catalysts to convert plant-derived substances into materials traditionally derived from fossil fuels.
This process stands out due to its high efficiency and scalability, resulting in a substantial reduction in carbon emissions compared to traditional manufacturing methods.
Chris Cuddy, president of ADM’s Carbohydrate Solutions business, added: “Sustainability is one of the enduring global trends powering ADM’s growth and underpinning the strategic evolution of our Carbohydrate Solutions business”.
He continued: “ADM is one of the largest dextrose producers in the world, and this strategic partnership will allow us to further diversify our product stream as we continue to support plant-based solutions spanning sustainable packaging, pharma, plant health, construction, fermentation, and home and personal care”.
“The initial phase of the project will significantly increase Solugen’s manufacturing capacity, which is critical for commercialising our existing line of molecules and kicks off plans for a multi-phase large-scale US Bioforge buildout,” said Sean Hunt, co-founder and CTO of Solugen. “The increase in capacity will also free up our Houston operation for research and development efforts into additional molecules and market applications.”
Marshall, Minnesota, has an abundant supply of corn and advanced corn-to-dextrose conversion technology, providing an ideal location to support the scale of Solugen’s products.
Construction of the new facility is set to begin offsite this year, with on-site construction commencing in early 2024. The initial phase, scheduled to commence operation in the first half of 2025, is expected to create a minimum of 40 permanent jobs and an additional 100 temporary construction jobs during the commissioning phase.
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