Amyris and Michelin Announce Collaboration to Develop and Commercialize Renewable Isoprene
Amyris, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMRS), a leading renewable chemicals and fuels company, and Michelin (EPA: ML), a leading innovator in the tire industry, announced that the two companies have signed a definitive agreement to collaborate in the development and commercialization of Amyris No Compromise® renewable isoprene, the chemical building block in rubber tires and other products that use synthetic and natural rubbers.
Under the agreement, Amyris and Michelin will partner to contribute funding and technical resources to develop Amyris’s technology to produce isoprene from renewable feedstocks. Amyris expects to begin commercializing this isoprene in 2015 for use in tire and other specialty chemical applications such as adhesives, coatings and sealants. Michelin is committed to off-take volumes on a ten-year basis. In addition, Amyris retains the right to market its renewable isoprene to other customers.
“This partnership will allow both companies to continue Michelin’s tradition of innovation in the tire industry and expand Amyris’s industrial biotechnology platform for new products,” said John Melo, CEO of Amyris. “Growing demand for isoprene and a desire to increase the sourcing of sustainable raw materials create a great opportunity for Amyris to bring to market renewable solutions with No Compromise® performance that also reduce price volatility.”
Amyris’s technology, currently used to produce at commercial scale a 15-carbon molecule called farnesene, can also convert plant-based sugars into isoprene, a 5-carbon molecule and main ingredient in the production of synthetic rubber. Isoprene has traditionally been produced as a by-product of the thermal cracking of naphtha to produce ethylene or via C4 refinery stream synthesis. As the petrochemical industry adjusts to lighter cracking slates with the advent of shale gas, new sources of isoprene have become necessary.
About MichelinDedicated to the improvement of sustainable mobility, Michelin designs, manufactures and sells tires for every type of vehicle, including airplanes, automobiles, bicycles, earthmovers, farm equipment, heavy-duty trucks and motorcycles. Michelin employs 111,000 people in more than 170 countries and operates 70 production sites in 18 countries throughout five continents. The company also publishes travel guides, hotel and restaurant guides, maps and road atlases and offers electronic mobility support services, on ViaMichelin.com. Research and innovation development is being taken care of in technology centres in Asia, Europe and North America. More information about Michelin is available at www.michelin.com/corporate.