EDDYVILLE — A $300 million facility in Eddyville will have the ability to save up to 93% of greenhouse gas emissions.
Cargill and HELM are entering a joint venture, Qore, to help leading brands replace fossil-based chemistries with bio-based intermediates, which will enable them to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Qore will focus on producing QIRA, a next-generation 1,4-butanediol (BDO) that is made biologically through the fermentations of plant-based sugars.
“QIRA can save up to 93% of greenhouse gas emissions when replacing today’s widely used chemical intermediates made from traditional fossil sources,” reads a release from Cargill and HELM. “QIRA can be used the same way as its chemical counterpart but with significantly better environmental performance.”
Examples include using the product to make spandex and other polyester-based chemical fibers as well as biodegradable plastics, polyurethane coatings, sealants and artificial leathers. “Bio-based intermediates give the apparel, automotive, electronics and packaging industries the ability to improve their environmental footprint without sacrificing product performance or altering their existing downstream manufacturing process,” the release states.
“With consumers demanding more sustainable products, brands are not only looking for more innovative, environmentally friendly solutions but also are needing supplier capabilities and resources that can consistently meet those expectations,” said Jill Zullo, vice president, Biointermediates/Bioindustrial at Cargill. “This new venture combines Cargill’s end-to-end supply chain and long-standing, successful product commercialization in several bioindustrial markets with HELM’s expertise in effectively bringing unique chemical applications and other creative solutions to life and to the market.”
The companies have invested a combined $300 million to build the first commercial-scale renewable BDO facility in the United States at Cargill’s existing biotechnology campus and corn refining operation in Eddyville and is expected to be completed and operational in 2024.
The companies say that Qore has licensed Genomatica’s BDO process technology and is using Cargill’s global feedstock supply and fermentation manufacturing expertise to initially produce and distribute and expected 65,000 metric tons per year of QIRA. HELM will work with brand owners and equipment manufacturers and their suppliers to incorporate it into their products, according to the release.
“For HELM Chemicals, this joint venture marks an important milestone in our commitment to providing solutions for a successful transformation to a sustainable planet and society,” said Axel Viering, member of the executive board for Business Line Chemicals at HELM. “Through partnership and collaboration with brand owners and their suppliers, we will bring sustainable product options to these consumer-driven industries that will not only help them differentiate their brands but also create a more environmentally responsible future.”