Year: 2015-16

Company: Technip

Liaison(s): Cheryl Sandifer Eric Wagner

Technip is a leading engineering, procurement
and construction (EPC) firm in the energy and
petrochemical industries. The company was founded in
1958 in France, currently operates in 45 countries, and
employs 34,400 associates. Technip earned revenues
in excess of €12.2 billion in 2015, with €987 million in
operating income from recurring activities. Although
Technip Group has extensive fermentation and
bioscience expertise and technologies, the local office
in Claremont, California, focuses on petrochemical,
ethylene, hydrogen, and syngas production.
Technip Claremont is assessing the potential of the
“green” chemistry market with the intent to add new
technologies and capabilities to its existing EPC portfolio.
The 2014-15 Technip Claremont TMP team identified
leading third-party organizations with biological
technologies that operate in the “green” manufacturing
space. Verdezyne Inc.’s dodecanedioic acid (DDDA)
process was ultimately selected for in-depth review for the
2015-16 TMP. Verdezyne is an industrial biotechnology
company focused on producing bio-based chemicals from
renewable feedstocks by utilizing a yeast fermentation
production platform. Overall, the current TMP sought
to create and demonstrate a proof-of-concept process to
further develop the Technip Claremont-Verdezyne-KGI
The primary aim of this project was to model the
Verdezyne process for the manufacture of DDDA, an
intermediate for the manufacture of nylon and other
polymers. Commercially available process modeling
tools, i.e. Aspen® and SuperPro®, were identified
for the task. Early results confirmed the suitability of
SuperPro Designer, which then was used to setup the
final model. The simulation results were benchmarked
successfully with Verdezyne’s small scale DDDA
process and the model was used to perform mass and
energy balances, sensitivity analysis, and production
scheduling. Additionally, the team performed a capital
and operating cost analysis of Verdezyne’s process for
its future commercial-scale plant. This cost analysis
included the cost of equipment, raw materials, and
utilities. Together, the process model and cost analysis
were used to perform a comparative study between the
“green” and petrochemical process routes of producing
DDDA. Results and recommendations of the work were
communicated to Technip Claremont and Verdezyne
through regular meetings, formal presentations and a final
report. Completion of this project will increase Technip
Claremont’s knowledge of industrial biotechnology in
green chemistry. This will allow Technip Claremont to
make informed strategic decisions regarding potential
future opportunities in green chemistry manufacturing