United States/Germany – US Cargill and German HELM have formed Qore, a joint venture to assist top brands in replacing fossil-based chemicals with bio-based intermediates.
As part of the partnership, both businesses would invest a total of $300 million to construct the first commercial-scale, renewable BDO facility in the United States. Bio-based intermediates enable the clothing, automotive, electronics, and packaging industries to reduce their environmental impact without losing product performance or modifying their existing downstream manufacturing processes.
Qore joint venture
QIRA, the next-generation 1,4-butanediol, will be the focus of the Qore joint venture. QIRA, which is produced organically through the fermentation of plant-based sugars, can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 93 percent when replacing extensively used chemical intermediates derived from traditional fossil sources. QIRA can be utilized in the same way as its chemical cousin, but with far superior environmental performance. QIRA, for example, can be used to make spandex and other polyester-based chemical fibers, as well as biodegradable plastics, polyurethane coatings, sealants, and artificial leathers, reducing their environmental impact.
Production facility to start operation in 2024
The bio-based intermediate production facility will be built near Cargill’s existing biotechnology campus and corn refining operation in Eddyville, Iowa. To meet the stringent requirements of product supply chains, the plant will be finished and operational by 2024. Qore has licensed Genomatica’s BDO process technology and is utilizing Cargill’s global feedstock supply and fermentation manufacturing capabilities to develop and distribute its first bio-intermediate, QIRA, at a minimum of 65,000 metric tons per year. To implement QIRA into their individual products, HELM will collaborate with brand owners, original equipment manufacturers, and their suppliers.