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Some of the refined products from petroleum are chemicals that make it into our modern world as polymers (imagine plastics), but the degradability of these polymers are well documented. One such synthetic polymer are super absorbent polymers (SAP). The global market of SAPs alone is $9 billion, for use in disposable personal hygiene products like diapers.
Zymochem is making bio-SAP from lignocellulosic feedstock in a fully integrated process. This starts with de novo microbe design to make inherently scalable microbial catalysts, equipped with non-novel enzymatic chemistries. These biosynthetic microbes are designed to produce from renewable feedstock in high yields, and with little or no use of oxygen.
They’re able to make drop-in replacements for novel chemicals not accessible through petrochemical processes, including biopolymers, bio-monomers and fatty molecules. Bio-SAP is their first product, destined to make the world’s first truly biodegradable diaper.