Startup has been begun at the $135-million BioAmber manufacturing plant on Vidal Street.
Over the next five months the plant will be tested section-by-section, with full commercial production expected this fall, officials said.
BioAmber has a patented technology that turn high-fructose corn syrup into a “platform” chemical called succinic acid, which is used in consumer products ranging from food and toys to paint and cosmetics.
Currently, most of the world’s succinic acid comes from petroleum.
“This is a significant milestone for BioAmber, which is poised to begin a period of rapid growth,” said company CEO Jean-Francois Huc.
The plant has created about 60 jobs.
Once it is fully functional, Sarnia will become the world’s largest supplier of succinic acid with an annual capacity of 30,000 tonnes.