Novomer is commercializing a homogeneous catalyst system which combines carbon monoxide, an inexpensive and sustainable feedstock, with ethylene oxide to create a versatile chemical intermediate called propiolactone. This chemical intermediate can be readily converted to acrylic acid, acrylate esters, butanediol, or succinic acid using known technologies. Applications for these chemicals include diapers, paints, coatings, high performance plastics, and textiles with a market potential in excess of $12 billion.
Novomerís process has the potential to be 20-50% lower cost and more environmentally friendly than todayís technologies used to make the same chemicals. The low cost can be attributed to the high selectivity of the catalyst, use of CO as a raw material, and abundant supply of ethane in many parts of the world to make cheap EO. The carbon and energy footprints using Novomerís catalyst will also be lower when the CO is sourced from a waste stream of another process, biomass via gasification, or another renewable starting material.