Cargill announced Friday it has signed an agreement with BASF and Novozymes to develop technologies to produce a biotech version of acrylic acid.
Acrylic acid, a fairly common chemical, is currently produced from propylene, which is ultimately derived from crude oil.
Minnetonka-based Cargill is an agribusiness giant with a hand in biotechnology; Germany-based BASF is one of the world's largest chemical companies; and Denmark-based Novozymes is global leader in industrial enzymes.
BASF is also the world's largest producer of acrylic acid, and it plans to initially use biotech-based acrylic acid to manufacture super-aborbent polymers. Such polymers are heavily used in baby diapers and other hygiene products.
Acrylic acid is also used in adhesives and coatings. The annual global market for acrylic acid is about $11 billion, and it has been growing at a rate of 4 percent per year.
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