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Is Bio-Butanediol Here to Stay?
[September 06, 2012]

Is Bio-Butanediol Here to Stay?

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. --(Business Wire)--

Nexant, Inc. today announced the publication of the newest title in its series of Special Reports: Is Bio-Butanediol Here to Stay

The global 1,4-butanediol (BDO) industry appears to be on the cusp of a technological revolution. Biological routes to 1,4-butanediol are being perfected that offer tremendous promise to new participants, but threaten to dramatically alter the business from the perspective of established producers. Indeed, the opportunities are of such great magnitude that even current participants are taking a hard look at bio-based routes. For example, Davy Process Technology is working with Myriant on ways that bio-succinic acid can be employed in Davy's well- established process to co-produce 1,4-butanediol/?-butyrolactone/tetrahydrofuran. Another example of an arrangement between bio-firms and established 1,4-butanediol producers is the memorandum of understanding between Genomatica and Mitsubishi (News - Alert) Chemical to study bio-1,4-butanediol and derivatives production in Asia.

Nexant's new report analyses the myriad of conventional technologies for producing 1,4-butanediol, as well as 1,4-butanediol technologies based on renewable resources. The report compares the economics of conventional and renewable resorce-based routes to 1,4-butanediol. This analysis shows that depending on the feedstock, process, and location, developing bio-routes can compete under certain scenarios against conventional gas and oil-based routes.

Is Bio-Butanediol Here to Stay covers:

  • Conventional 1,4-Butanediol technologies: maleic anhydride/acid hydrogenation, Reppe acetylene, butadiene acetoxylation, propylene oxide hydroformylation, allyl alcohol hydroformylation
  • Emerging 1,4-Butanediol technologies: hydrogenolysis of succinic acid (from dextrose fermentation), direct glucose fermentation, thermolysis of poly-4-hydroxy-butyrate (P4HB)

In addition, the report includes 1,4-butanediol economics and individual sensitivities on natural gas, n-butane, propylene oxide, and glucose prices to show the effect on production processes. Finally, the report also includes global 1,4-butanediol, tetrahydrofuran, and ?-butyrolactone market overviews by major regions with a discussion on supply, demand, and trade.

Is Bio-Butanediol Here to Stay is available immediately. For more information on this and other Nexant reports, please visit: and click on the "Nexant ChemSystems" link on the lower half of the homepage or contact Jim Virosco at or Marisabel Dolan at


Nexant specializes in a broad range of advisory services to the global energy and chemicals sectors, including feasibility studies, mergers and acquisitions, and strategic planning. Nexant offers a comprehensive suite of best-in-class energy enterprise software designed to transform utility business processes and implement smart grid and energy conservation initiatives. Over the last decade, it has developed and commercialized technology solutions-such as iEnergyTM, GRID360TM, iHEDGE®, and RevenueManager®-enabling utilities, power producers, and retailers to operate and deploy new technologies and applications in the emerging grid. Operating from 32 offices in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa, the company's team of industry professionals has completed more than 3,000 client assignments in over 100 countries, and its software operates in over 120 control centers at utilities worldwide. Its clients include major utilities, transmission and distribution system operators, chemical and petroleum majors, financial institutions, government agencies and Fortune 500 companies.

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