A review of some of the talks present at the GC&E Conference from the session, “Greening the Supply Chain Using Biobased Chemicals”
Richard Mehigh from Sigma Aldrich described how his team improved a process to extract β-Amylase from sweet potatoes (or yams)—an enzyme used in the pharmaceutical industry and as a gel filtration chromatography marker. The previous process had been developed in early 1960s and was not reliable. The new process improved it on many levels including: used a new source available year round, removing the use of acetone which was a safety issue and disposal cost, cut the process time in half saving labor hours, increased the yield per pound of sweet potato saving cost on the starting material, and created a consistent, higher purity product.
Itaconic acid is a 100% bio-renewable product produced by fermenting carbohydrates such as corn. Itaconix, a company out of New Hampshire specializes in producing polymers from itaconic acid. Yvon Durant, CTO, discussed the polymerization process and how their products improved the performance of detergent formulations—one of their myriad applications.
Rachel Severance from Arizona Chemical Company discussed a pine-based asphalt additive that improves the performance and sustainability of road resurfacing (read the article here).
Other talks were heard from Dixie Chemical, NatureWorks, LLC, Omni Tech International, LanzaTech, Corbion, and Eastern Michigan University.
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