LanzaTech and Sumitomo Riko collaborate to produce isoprene

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LanzaTech NZ and Sumitomo Riko have entered into a joint-development agreement to reuse rubber, resin and urethane waste for the production of a key chemical intermediate - isoprene.
Using synthetic biology for this new path to isoprene, LanzaTech’s nature-based platform, has the potential to produce a new sustainable source of rubber through recycling, without losing any material integrity.
“This exciting partnership with Sumitomo represents an opportunity to make a significant positive impact on the production of rubber,” said Dr Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech.
“Thanks to increasing demand across multiple sectors, including medical and automotive, the global isoprene market is projected to be worth around $4 billion (€3.86 billion) by 2025. We need new sustainable pathways for the production of rubber, to avoid any impact on land and biodiversity.
“To be able to make isoprene directly from waste rubber and other waste resources is truly groundbreaking, will keep fossil carbon in the ground and will enable domestic, sustainable production of this key raw material around the world.”
“As we aim to be a sustainable company, we see a vast potential to recycle and reuse our waste materials,” said Kazushi Shimizu, president and CEO of Sumitomo Riko. “Approximately 46,000 tons of natural and synthetic rubber are used in our leading rubber products annually, making rubber one of our most important raw materials.
“A large amount of rubber waste is also produced from the manufacturing process as well as extracted from used automobile parts. Our joint development with LanzaTech aims to recycle rubber waste directly into a substitute for natural rubber.”
“Together with Sumitomo, we aim to create a sustainable supply chain, that enables not only circularity but keeps our forests and planet healthy,” said Holmgren. “We need multiple pathways to succeed in producing the key materials in our lives, and we are delighted to be working on isoprene production with Sumitomo.”

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