November 2, 2016

Renewable Energy Group Unveils First Commercial Product in Transaction with Aroma Chemical Services

REG Life Sciences

Renewable Energy Group (REG) Life Sciences has announced the delivery of its first commercial chemical product to Aroma Chemical Services (ACS) International.  The two companies have been collaborating on the development and commercialization of specialty flavor and fragrance chemicals by leveraging REG Life Sciences’ technology platform.  Their efforts have now culminated in approximately one metric ton of a renewable specialty fatty acid being produced by REG and delivered to ACS.  The undisclosed fatty acid will be used by ACS in the manufacture of a high performance musk ingredient, a specific variety of fragrance chemical.

More to come for REG and ACS

Eric Bowen, head of REG Life Science and Vice President of Corporate Business Development and Legal Affairs, suggested that this accomplishment is only the beginning of REG’s effort to pipe precursors into the flavor and fragrance.  “We are proud to have achieved this key milestone and are confident that the musk will enjoy commercial success, creating growing demand for our multi-functional fatty acid,” he said.  “We have identified over 500 candidate compounds from our platform, several of which we believe could lead to attractive follow-on opportunities in the global musk market.”

Steve del Cardayre, Vice President of Research at REG Life Sciences, echoed Bowen’s forward-thinking attitude in the announcement. “Together, REG Life Sciences and ACS have identified a number of potentially valuable flavor and fragrance ingredients based on REG’s proprietary technology that we plan to develop and bring to market in the near future,” he said.

The leadership team at ACS also expressed their excitement at the completion of this first milestone and at the prospect of continuing to work jointly with REG. Koenraad Vanhessche, Vice President of Innovation and Business Development at ACS, said “We are very excited to see our joint efforts come to fruition through a powerful combination of industrial biotechnology and unique processing solutions. Moreover, this integrated fatty acid synthetic biology platform is the first of its kind in the field of flavor and fragrance and enables quick and cost-effective access to a plethora of targets previously beyond anyone’s scope.”

ACS Managing Director Thomas Plocek also weighed in on the announcement. “ACS International Group is very pleased to work with REG Life Sciences to develop these fragrance and flavor ingredients some of which have the potential to become major new building blocks for the F&F Industry,” he said.  “It is a pleasure to be able to use renewable feedstocks that can create beautiful consumer products while being produced in a way that protects the environment and expands the application of safe biotechnology into more industrial products. Earlier in my career I coined the expression, ‘The esthetics of manufacturing.’ To me, it is wonderful to make aesthetically pleasing products in an aesthetically pleasing way.”

A mystery, multifunctional fatty acid

Along with esters and alcohols, fatty acids represent one of the three main chemical building blocks on which REG has focused its development and manufacturing efforts.  REG and ACS have been collaborating on this particular fatty acid since last year.  According to REG Vice President of Manufacturing, the company has put a great deal of effort into ensuring the viability of their first chemical product.  “We have been working very hard to develop a robust and high-quality process that will enable this first product to be successful,” he commented.

Product development was enabled by REG’s use of the Biobased Europe Pilot Plant, an “independent, open-innovation pilot and demonstration plant for industrial biotechnology.”  The plant is a shared facility for companies to stage and develop their fermentation and downstream processing schemes all in one location.

REG has reported that the fatty acid, the identity of which has not yet been revealed, is “multifunctional” and a key intermediate in the synthesis of many end products.  It is a versatile flagship product that can be channeled into many different manufacturing processes, including aroma chemicals and polymers.  A video on the development and manufacture of REG’s first product can be viewed here:

About Renewable Energy Group

Renewable Energy Group, Inc. is a leading provider of cleaner, lower carbon intensity products and services and is North America’s largest producer of biomass-based diesel. REG utilizes a nationwide production, distribution and logistics system as part of an integrated value chain model to focus on converting natural fats, oils and greases into advanced biofuels and converting diverse feedstocks into renewable chemicals. With 12 active biorefineries across the country, research and development capabilities and a diverse and growing intellectual property portfolio, REG is committed to being a longterm leader in bio-based fuels and chemicals.

For more than a decade, REG has been a reliable supplier of advanced biofuels which meet or exceed ASTM quality specifications. REG sells REG-9000 biomass-based diesel to distributors so consumers can have cleaner burning fuels that help diversify the energy complex and increase energy security. REG- 9000 biomass-based diesel is distributed in most states in the US. REG also markets ultra-low sulfur diesel and heating oil in the northeastern and midwestern US. For more information on REG visit our website at

About Aroma Chemical Services International

Group ACS International Group GmbH is a leading mid-sized manufacturer and global supplier of special high value fragrance and flavor ingredients. ACS has a fine chemical manufacturing plant in Romania, sales and logistics headquarters in Stahle, Germany, sales offices in Red Bank, New Jersey and its Innovation and Business Development Center in Geneva, Switzerland. ACS is located near and maintains continual contact with the leading companies and creative centers in the fragrance and flavor industry. With warehouses in key locations, it services F&F companies throughout the world.

Well established as a key manufacturer of special ingredients for F&F use, in the past 5 years ACS has had an active program to apply advanced biotechnology to the manufacture of important fragrance and flavor ingredients and intermediates. This is being accomplished through strategic partnering with firms, universities and research centers in the US and Europe, integrating biotech solutions into traditional fragrance and flavor ingredient manufacture and marketing.