Toray Industries, Inc. (www.toray.com) in partnership with Gevo, Inc. (www.gevo.com), a leading company of renewable chemicals and advanced biofuels, has succeeded in producing laboratory-scale samples of fully renewable biobased PET and its films.
Gevo succeeded in converting isobutanol, produced from biomass by employing
its own highly effective production method that uses genetically modified
microorganisms, to para-xylene using conventional chemical process for
Toray used terephthalic acid synthesized from Gevo’s biobased para-xylene
and commercially available renewable mono ethylene glycol (MEG) as raw
materials, and successfully produced the PET samples by applying a new
technology and PET polymerization, and film production technology. This
biobased PET has exhibited properties almost equivalent to petro-based PET in
Commercially available PET is currently produced from terephthalic acid and
mono ethylene glycol (MEG), both of which are derived from petroleum. Around 50
million tons of PET is produced worldwide annually for producing fibers, films
and bottles. And PET, which has outstripped other polymers such as polyethylene
and polypropylene in global demand, has become an essential polymer in our
The success of this trial, albeit under laboratory conditions, is proof that
PET can be industrially produced from fully renewable biomass feedstock alone.
This is a significant step that would contribute to the realization of a sustainable,
Gevo is planning to exhibit these laboratory-scale biobased PET samples at
“BioPlastek 2011 Forum”, which will be held at The Waldorf-Astoria, New York
from June 27th to June 29th.
Under its management policy that all business strategies must place priority
on the global environment in an effort to help realize a sustainable low-carbon
society, Toray has been promoting the development of biobased polymers while
expanding the businesses related to biobased materials such as poly lactic acid
(PLA). The expansion of biobased polymers is an important initiative central to
the Group’s Green Innovation projects under its new medium-term management
program “Project AP-G 2013”, launched in April this year.
Under the corporate slogan "Innovation by Chemistry", Toray will
enhance its efforts to develop advanced materials to contribute to the progress
of a sustainable, recycling society.
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