Rennovia: Biofuels Digest’s 2015 5-Minute Guide

April 28, 2015 |

5-Minute-Guide-logoRennovia, Inc. is a chemical process technology development company focused on the creation of novel processes for the cost-advantaged production of commodity and specialty chemicals from renewable feedstocks.

Rennovia is developing processes for the production of biobased glucaric acid, adipic acid, 1,6-hexanediol, hexamethylenediamine (HMD), and other important building blocks for a wide range of functional materials. Rennovia has successfully combined its bio-based AA and HMD to produce 100% renewable nylon-6,6.

Rennovia’s initial focus is on the development of catalytic process technologies for the production of bio-based adipic acid (AA) and glucaric acid (GA).  Adipic acid, an industrial chemical conventionally derived from petroleum, is a multi-billion dollar global market, with major applications in nylon-6,6 fibers, engineering resins, polyester polyols for polyurethanes, and adipate ester plasticizers.  Glucaric acid is an emerging platform chemical with wide applications in detergent, de-icing, cement, and anti-corrosion markets.

Major investors:

5AM Ventures, Versant Ventures, ADM

The Situation

It’s scale-up time for Rennovia in adipic and glucaric acid. In February 2015, Rennovia and Johnson Matthey announced that they had entered into a joint development agreement for the co-development and manufacture of catalysts to be used in the scale-up and commercialization of Rennovia’s process for the production of bio-based glucaric acid and adipic acid.

This agreement, for the co-development and manufacture of catalysts, builds upon the existing collaboration, announced in March 2014, under which Rennovia and Johnson Matthey Davy Technologies are working together on the engineering and construction of a mini-plant to optimize and scale the process, which will enable commercial production of these products. The focus of the joint development effort announced today will be to develop and supply catalysts for the mini-plant and future commercial plants.

Top Past Milestones

In February 2014, ADM has committed to a $25 million equity investment in Rennovia, which develops catalysts and processes for the cost-advantaged production of chemical products from renewable feedstocks. The company’s first products are nylon intermediates adipic acid and hexamethylenediamine (HMD). ADM’s investment will be used for research and development programs and continuing operations.

1) Development and demonstration at lab-pilot scale of all unit operations for the conversion of glucose to GA and for the conversion of GA to AA using Rennovia’s catalyst technologies.

2) Successful demonstration of the conversion of fructose to HDO and for the conversion of HDO to HMD production using Rennovia’s catalyst technologies.

3) Establishment of foundational IP portfolio for processes 1) and 2), above

Major Milestone Goals 

1) Develop licensable technology package enabling commercial production of GA and AA

2) Demonstrate long-term continuous operation at pilot scale for HDO and HMD processes; Establish scale-up and commercialization partnership for HDO and HMD products

3) Initiate first commercial product production

Business Model:

Hybrid owner-operator and technology licensor model.

Competitive Edge:

Use of well-established, scalable catalytic process technologies to produce drop-in chemical products from renewable feedstocks at production costs significantly below conventional petroleum-based processes.


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Category: 5-Minute Guide

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