Global Bioenergies delivers renewable isobutene to Arlanxeo for bio-based tires

Arlanxeo's presentation, 6 April 2016
Arlanxeo’s presentation, 6 April 2016

Global Bioenergies, the French company which is developing a process to convert renewable resources into hydrocarbons through fermentation, have delivered isobutene produced at its industrial pilot to Arlanxeo, a world leader in high‐quality synthetic rubbers headquartered in the Netherlands.

Global Bioenergies’ most advanced program consists in the production of high‐purity isobutene from renewable resources. Currently produced from fossil oil, isobutene is one of the major building blocks of the petrochemical industry with a multi‐billion dollar market.

The biggest application for high‐purity isobutene is butyl‐rubber, an elastomer used for producing the inner liner and inner tube of tires as well as for a series of other applications such as chewing gum, joints and balls.

Thomas Buhl, Head of Business Development at Global Bioenergies comments “We are pleased being able to deliver a sample of our renewable isobutene to Arlanxeo, a leading supplier of butyl rubber worldwide.”

Global Bioenergies routinely produces isobutene batches using its industrial pilot located in Pomacle-Bazancourt, eastern France. At the beginning of April, the company announced to be able for the first time, with the help of Processium, a chemical engineering company headquartered in Lyon, France, to purify batches to a much higher level, reaching 99.77%, the remaining 0.23% being mostly composed of CO2, an inert gas known to be neutral in most chemical reactions.

Arlanxeo is a world-leading synthetic rubber company with sales of around 2.8 billion euro in 2015, about 3,800 employees and a presence at 20 production sites in nine countries. Headquartered in Maastricht, Netherlands, the company’s core business is the development, manufacturing and marketing of synthetic high-performance rubber for use in the automotive and tire industries, the construction industry, and the oil and gas industries.

The company was established as a joint venture of Lanxess, a world-leading specialty chemicals company based in Cologne, Germany, and Saudi Aramco, a major global energy and chemicals enterprise headquartered in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. The two partners each hold a 50-percent interest in the joint venture.

The deal was first announced in September 2015, and all relevant antitrust authorities had cleared the transaction by February 2016. With the closing of the transaction, a 50 percent share in the joint venture Arlanxeo was transferred to Dutch Saudi Aramco subsidiary, Aramco Overseas Holdings Coöperatief U.A. In return, Lanxess received cash proceeds of around 1.2 billion euro.




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