Pili Reaches Production Milestone for Biobased Anthranilic Acid

24.04.2024 - French biotech company Pili, a manufacturer of sustainable colorant and pigment, has produced several tons of anthranilic acid, a 100% biobased aromatic compound which the company already converts into dyes and pigments.

"For non-chemists, aromatic compounds are particularly stable cyclic molecular structures. They are the building blocks of many of our everyday products, such as dyes, fragrances, flavors and some cosmetic and pharmaceutical ingredients," explained Jérémie Blache, Pili's CEO, adding that the company is the first to offer petroleum-free aromatic raw material on an industrial scale.

To sustainably produce a source of aromatic compounds, Pili uses industrial fermentation based on its proprietary microorganisms. Fermentation makes it possible to avoid fossil raw materials by using non-food sugars derived from biomass, the company said.

According to the Toulouse, France-based biotech, several tons of the 90% purity aniline derivative have already been produced at industrial grade which is already REACh registered and ready to be commercialized as an intermediate.

"Anthranilic acid is a very interesting platform molecule. Anilines, carboxylic acids, phenols, salicylates... the chemistry accessible from this intermediate is wide," commented Guillaume Boissonnat-Wu, Pili's scientific and industrial director. "Pili is able to develop all or part of the synthesis pathways from this intermediate towards references of dyes, pigments, fragrances, flavors and other aromatic compounds, all based on the principles of green chemistry."

To extend its ambitions to other markets, Pili plans to collaborate with partners interested in co-developing ingredients derived from aromatics chemistry and committed to decarbonizing their product portfolios.