ADM and Solugen are partnering to expand the production of innovative plant-based specialty chemicals and biobased building block molecules with a new manufacturing facility located in Marshall, Minnesota.
Under the agreement, Solugen will build a new 500,000-square-foot biomanufacturing facility adjacent to ADM’s existing corn complex in Marshall. The facility will use ADM-provided 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 of these biomaterials for a range of applications including energy, water treatment, agriculture, construction materials, cleaning, personal care and more.
"The strategic partnership with ADM will allow Solugen to bring our chemienzymatic process to a commercial scale and meet existing customer demand for our high-performance, cost-competitive, sustainable products,” said Gaurab Chakrabarti, cofounder 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.”
Lowering the carbon footprint with plant-derived products
Leveraging a first-of-its-kind combination of computationally engineered enzymes and metal catalysts, Solugen’s Bioforge converts plant-derived substances into essential materials that have traditionally been made from fossil fuels. The high efficiency and scalability of Solugen’s process can offer a significant reduction in carbon footprint compared with conventional ingredients.
“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.”
Plant startup date is first half of 2025
Solugen plans to begin offsite construction this year and onsite construction in early 2024. The initial phase, which is scheduled to start up in the first half of 2025, is expected to create at least 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 multiphase large-scale U.S. Bioforge buildout,” said Sean Hunt, cofounder 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.”
With a robust and cost-competitive supply of corn, alongside advanced corn-to-dextrose conversion technology, Marshall is the ideal location to support the scale of Solugen’s products, said the company.