Kaneka began developing PHBH during the early 1990s. At the time, pollution of the world's oceans with micro-plastic was not gaining global recognition as an environmental issue, prompting us to launch the project out of a desire to provide an environmentally friendly solution that was not dependent on oil resources.
As Kaneka's researchers were visiting various sites around the world as part of their search for microorganisms that could be used to create a polymer, they found a microbe that could create PHBH right at home, in soil at the Takasago Manufacturing Site! However, the newly discovered microorganism could only be used to create small quantities of PHBH. Even if a microorganism suitable for use in mass-producing PHBH could be developed, they were still facing significant difficulties to put it into practical use.
The company eventually became the first in the world to industrialize PHBH through a series of trial and error attempts that brought together the proprietary polymer technology and biotechnology that Kaneka has developed over many years.
Today, we're working to ramp up production to commercial levels.