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BioIsoprene(TM) Product Begins Flowing from Genencor to Goodyear

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: 18 March, 2009  (New Product)
Biochemical delivery marks major milestone in revolutionary technology for renewable alternative to isoprene for rubber manufacture.
BioIsoprene(TM) product is based on a revolutionary technology providing an alternative to petrochemically derived isoprene, a key intermediate for synthetic rubber production.

Joe McAuliffe, Staff Research Scientist at Genencor, handed four containers of the clear liquid to Dave Benko (Director of Materials Research and Development at Goodyear) at Genencor's Palo Alto research facility. 'This is a historical moment, after substantial research on this technology,' said Rich LaDuca, Senior Director of Business Development at Genencor. 'It signifies a new era in biochemicals. We're excited to be ushering in a future where tires and many other products will be produced with renewable materials.'

Genencor and Goodyear first announced their research collaboration on the technology and integrated production system for BioIsoprene(TM) product in September 2008.

BioIsoprene(TM) product is derived from renewable raw materials, and represents a significant development within the biochemical and rubber industries. Aside from synthetic rubber for tire production, traditional isoprene is used for the production of a wide range of products, such as surgical gloves, golf balls and adhesives. Thus, the potential for BioIsoprene(TM) product is substantial.

'This is one more step toward a new era where biorefineries will take in biomass and turn out a number of valuable materials, from biofuels and other biochemicals to bioplastics,' says Philippe Lavielle, Executive Vice President of Business Development at Genencor. 'It signals that we're not just breaking boundaries in technology, but providing real-world alternatives and solutions to the biobased economy.

Goodyear shares Genencor's vision of lessening industry impact on the environment by applying renewable raw materials in the supply chain.

'As we outlined in 2008, we believe it's important to look at alternative renewable raw materials in our production processes,' says Jesse Roeck, Director, Global Materials Science at Goodyear. 'We chose to work with Genencor based on our strategy of Open Innovation and because they are one of the leaders in industrial biotechnology.'

The two organizations collaborate on designing an integrated production system for BioIsoprene(TM) product, and are on schedule to meet both technological and commercial milestones within the agreement. Commercial availability of the product is planned for 2013.

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