French green technology firm Global Bioenergies is building a plant in France to produce renewable isobutene from plant resources, the company announced.

The plant in Pomacle would use a process developed by Global Bioenergies to convert plant resources into isobutene, the derivatives of which are used in cosmetics, fine chemicals, commodities and fuels, the company said in a 9 February statement.

Global Bioenergies said one of the intermediates in the isobutene synthesis pathway – a five-carbon intermediate, prenic acid (also known as “methyl-crotonic acid”, “dimethyl-acrylic acid” and “senecic acid” (CAS 541-47-9) – had a range of industrial uses.

Its two chemical functions – acid and vinyl – allowed it to be used in a range of compounds currently derived from petroleum and used in flavours, perfumes and food additives, the company said.

“This is the first time this molecule has been produced from renewable resources,” Global Bioenergies chief technical officer Frédéric Ollivier said. “The production process for our bio-sourced prenic acid is now mature: it was developed in a laboratory setting and was brought to full industrial scale in 2021.”

The company had produced several tonnes of it, and had also developed a purification process, achieving purity readings of over 99%.

A number of major chemical companies had shown an interest in the molecule and Global Bioenergies was now preparing a sampling campaign, Ollivier said.

Some of the compounds produced by the company could also be used to produce renewable plastics, rubbers and paints, Global Bioenergies said.