BioAmber Plants Seed for Bio-succinic Lubes


BioAmber is nearing completion of its plant in Sarnia, Ontario, where it will produce 30,000 metric tons per year of succinic acid, and a portion will go to oleochemical company Oleon for use in biolubricants under a new supply agreement.

BioAmbers subsidiary, BioAmber Sarnia, which is a joint venture between BioAmber and Mitsui & Co., agreed to exclusively supply bio-succinic acid for use in lubricants to Oleon, a European oleochemical company that is developing a new line of succinic-acid based lubricants. The contract runs through 2018.

Oleon, a segment of Sofiproteol, is headquarted in Ertvelde, Belgium, and has manufacturing facilities in Belgium, France, Germany, Norway and Malaysia. Its new formula will combine bio-based succinic acid and biobased alcohols to make a line of lubricants for use in automotive, industrial and metalworking applications prone to punishing conditions such as extreme cold.

Succinic acid, which BioAmber produces through fermentation of glucose from renewable feedstocks, is being developed by BASF, Myriant and a few other companies as a replacement for petroleum products in various applications. According to a press release issued by BioAmber yesterday, the market for succinic acid in specialty lubricants is estimated to be$100 million per year.

BioAmber is headquartered in Montreal, Canada. Its new Sarnia plant is expected to open in early 2015 with initial capacity of 30,000 t/y.