The acid is used in the production of polymers and had thus far been produced from the refining of crude oils; however, the joint development agreement between the three companies will look to develop bio-based technologies that use renewable feedstock.

BASF member of the board of executive directors Michael Heinz commented that the cooperation combines BASF’s global market strength and innovation power with the excellent know-how and competencies of Novozymes and Cargill who are global leaders in their respective industry segments.

"Together we are uniquely positioned to more sustainably meet market and society needs", said Heinz.

Novozymes CEO Steen Riisgaard added that the bio-based alternative to fossil-based products is a big step towards a more sustainable economy.

Novozymes and Cargill have collaborators on renewable acrylic acid technology since 2008 and have microorganisms that can efficiently convert renewable feedstock into 3-hydroxypropionic acid (3-HP) – a possible chemical precursor to acrylic acid.

BASF that claims to be the largest producer of acrylic acid has now joined the collaboration to develop the process for conversion of 3-HP into acrylic acid.