First bio-PET bottles made
Sustainable technology company Anellotech has announced that it, IFPEN and Axens have processed aromatics from loblolly pine wood feedstock at its TCat-8 pilot plant at Silsbee, Texas, and recovered high-purity bio-based paraxylene (PX), using its Bio-TCat process. This follows earlier production in Europe.
PX is a key raw material for PET and this is seen as a step on the road to making bottles from 100% biobased PET. The samples have all met all of the ASTM International specifications for downstream derivatives for PET. If successful, it will be the first “major production of bio-PET from continuous, cost-effective processing of non-food biomass”, Anellotech claimed.
The three companies will now work on purifying PX to create pilot sample bottles for Suntory, the Japan-based beverages company. As larger amounts are purified, Anellotech will also make renewable PET resin for prototype bottle manufacture and product trials. The firms will also make sample quantities of bio-based benzene, a raw material for many other polymers and other materials, and tolune, again using Bio-TCat.