Solugen, a climate technology company, and ADM, a provider of sustainable solutions, have partnered to scale a range of innovative, plant-based specialty chemicals and bio-based building block molecules at a new manufacturing facility in Marshall, Minnesota.
As per an agreement, Solugen will build a new 500,000 sq ft biomanufacturing facility nearby ADM’s existing corn complex in Marshall where Solugen will use ADM’s dextrose to scale its current line of lower-carbon organic acids and develop new, innovative molecules to replace existing fossil fuel-based materials.
The companies also plan to collaborate on commercialization opportunities for these biomaterials in energy, water treatment, agriculture, construction materials, cleaning, personal care, and more.
While Solugen’s Bioforge, a combination of computationally engineered enzymes and metal catalysts, helps convert plant-derived substances into essential materials traditionally made from fossil fuels, its high efficiency and scalability offer reduced carbon footprint as compared to conventional ingredients.
“The strategic partnership with ADM will allow Solugen to bring our chemoenzymatic process to a commercial scale and meet existing customer demand for our high-performance, cost-competitive, sustainable products,” said Gaurab Chakrabarti, Co-Founder and CEO of Solugen. “As one of the few scaled-up and de-risked biomanufacturing assets in the country, Solugen’s Bioforge platform is helping bolster domestic capabilities and supply chains that are critical in ensuring the U.S. reaches its ambitious climate targets.”
Solugen will start offsite construction in 2023 and on-site construction in early 2024.
The initial phase, which is scheduled to begin in the first half of 2025, is expected to create about 40 permanent jobs and another 100 temporary construction jobs during commissioning.
“The initial phase of the project will significantly increase Solugen’s manufacturing capacity, which is critical for commercializing our existing line of molecules and kicks off plans for a multi-phase large-scale U.S. Bioforge buildout,” said Sean Hunt, Co-Founder and CTO of Solugen. “The increase in capacity will also free up our Houston operation for research and development efforts into additional molecules and market applications.”
Marshall is an ideal location to support the scale of Solugen’s products, having a cost-competitive supply of corn with an advanced corn-to-dextrose conversion technology. The city encompasses a vibrant community, a skilled workforce, and support from local and regional governments.
“Sustainability is one of the enduring global trends powering ADM’s growth and underpinning the strategic evolution of our Carbohydrate Solutions business,” said Chris Cuddy, President of ADM’s Carbohydrate Solutions business. “ADM is one of the largest dextrose producers in the world, and this strategic partnership will allow us to further diversify our product stream as we continue to support plant-based solutions spanning sustainable packaging, pharma, plant health, construction, fermentation, and home and personal care.”