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Cargill and HELM have formed the joint venture Qore to help leading brands replace fossil-based chemistries with bio-based intermediates. They are investing a combined $300 million to build the first commercial-scale, renewable BDO (1,4-butanediol) facility in the U.S. BDO is a chemical intermediate important in the apparel, automotive, electronics and packaging industries.
Editorial office / Eddyville

“With consumers demanding more sustainable products, brands are not only looking for more innovative, environmentally-friendly solutions but also are needing supplier capabilities and resources that can consistently meet those expectations,” said Jill Zullo, Vice President, Biointermediates/Bioindustrial at Cargill. “This new venture combines Cargill’s end-to-end supply chain and long-standing, successful product commercialization in several bioindustrial markets with HELM’s expertise in effectively bringing unique chemical applications and other creative solutions to life and to the market.”

93% CO2 reduction

The Qore joint venture will focus on producing QIRA™, the next-generation 1,4-butanediol (BDO). Made biologically through the fermentation of plant-based sugars, QIRA can save up to 93 percent of greenhouse gas emissions when replacing today’s widely used chemical intermediates made from traditional fossil sources.

QIRA can be used the same way as its chemical counterpart but with significantly better environmental performance. For example, QIRA can be used for making spandex and other polyester-based chemical fibers as well as biodegradable plastics, polyurethane coatings, sealants and artificial leathers, thereby improving their environmental footprint. 

Cargill and HELM plan to build the bio-based intermediate production facility at Cargill’s existing biotechnology campus and corn refining operation in Eddyville, Iowa. The plant will be completed and operating in 2024 to meet the demanding specification of product supply chains.

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