Expanding collaboration with U.S.based Amyris
Ramping Up Development of New Bio-Based Liquid Rubber Using biomaterial to increase tire-based fuel efficiency
Aiming to ramp up the development of a new biomaterial-based liquid rubber, Kuraray Co. Ltd. (Headquarters: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; President: Fumio Ito) has signed a new joint development agreement with Amyris, Inc. (Headquarters: Emeryville, California, U.S.A.; CEO: John Melo). In addition to the new development agreement, Kuraray has also made a strategic capital investment in Amyris.
- Kuraray has been expanding business related to liquid isoprene rubber and liquid butadiene rubber, focusing on applications for tires.
- In addition, we have developed liquid farnesene rubber (LFR), which uses Amyris’s new biologically derived diene monomer as a raw material.
- Adding LFR to the rubber used in the manufacture of tires has been found to reduce rolling resistance, leading to higher fuel efficiency.
- Since signing an initial agreement with Amyris in 2011, Kuraray has been working with tire manufacturers around the world to assess the benefits of LFR in tire performance.
Outline of Collaboration Expansion
1. Joint Development Agreement
- Extends the current 2011–2014 agreement for two additional years.
- Expands the scope of joint development using farnesene which includes hydrogenated styrene thermoplastic elastomers—one of Kuraray's core businesses.
2. Strategic Investment
- Kuraray made a $4 million capital investment in Amyris
Amyris was founded in 2003 in the San Francisco Bay Area of California and develops
advanced biotechnologies to convert plant sugars into a variety of molecules. The company was listed on the NASDAQ in 2010. The company’s bio-based products are being developed for a wide range of applications, including fragrances, cosmetics and personal care products, plastic additives, and renewable diesel and jet fuel.
About Kuraray Europe GmbH
Kuraray Europe GmbH is a wholly owned subsidiary of the global speciality chemical company Kuraray Co., Ltd., which is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. Kuraray was founded in 1926 and now has around 7,300 employees and annual sales of about EUR 3.5 billion. It is one of the largest suppliers of polymers and synthetic microfibres and an international leader in the development and use of innovative high-performance materials. Kuraray Europe GmbH is based in Hattersheim am Main near Frankfurt, Germany, and has around 700 employees. It is the leading European producer of PVA, PVB and PVB films.
The company’s product portfolio also includes chemical specialities, activated carbon, thermoplastic elastomers, industrial fibres, man-made leather and dental products.
For further information please visit www.kuraray.eu.