Global Bioenergies SA, a French biotechnology company, received 1.5 million euros ($2 million) in funding from Synthos SA after meeting a requirement in its efforts to develop a biological process for converting plant material into butadiene, a chemical used to make synthetic rubber and other products.
The company also will receive “several million euros” annually from Synthos to continue developing the technology, Envy, France-based Global Bioenergies said in a statement today. Global Bioenergies Chief Executive Officer Marc Delcourt said this stage will last for three years.
“Had we not entered this partnership, we probably would not have started this program,” Delcourt said yesterday in a telephone interview.“It was too cash-intensive to do it on our own.”
Synthos, based in Oswiecim, Poland, will have the rights to use the renewable butadiene for rubber applications and will pay royalties to Global Bioenergies for products that use it. Synthos agreed in July 2011 to support Global Bioenergies, which retains the rights to the chemical for non-rubber applications.
Butadiene is typically produced from oil and is also used to make plastics, latex and nylon. Of the 10 million tons of the chemical produced worldwide each year from oil, about 7 million tons are used to manufacture rubber, according to the statement.