http://www.basf.com/group/pressrelease/P-11-382BASF has announce plans to build an acrylic acid plant in Brazil. A Wall Street Journal article today reports that BASF is investing $30MM in a start-up Renmatix of King of Prussia, PA http://renmatix.com/Renmatix claims to have a cellulose hydrolysis process that can produce fermentable sugars cheaper than Brazilian sugar, which is said to be the world standard.Sugar cane produces abundant cellulose too. The crushed stalks are burned for fuel once the sugar containing juice is expressed. Jungle rainforests must be abundant sources of sunlight and cellulose.BASF has provided no details of its process from sugar to acrylic acid. Acrylic acid can be made from propylene or ethylene. Fermentation to ethanol and then conversion to ethylene is one way, but more sophisticated fermentations may be possible.Consumers know acrylic acid best as a component of acrylic plastics, but also finds its way into adhesives, thickeners, and especially into superslurper polymers used in products like diapers.
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