JAPAN: Toray touts laboratory-scale success in production of bio-based PET fiber

Gevo and Toray, which in 2010 signed a non-binding letter of interest for the future supply of renewable paraxylene from Gevo's isobutanol, earlier this year announced the successful production of fully renewable and recyclable PET.

Gevo, working with Toray, used prototypes of commercial operations from the petrochemical and refining industries to produce renewable paraxylene from Gevo's renewable isobutanol.  The two companies then used Toray's existing technology, as well as jointly developed technology, to convert Gevo's paraxylene and commercially available renewable monoethylene glycol into PET.

"The success of this trial, albeit under laboratory conditions, is proof that polyester fiber can be industrially produced from fully renewable biomass feedstock alone," noted Toray. "This is a significant step that would contribute to the realization of a sustainable, low-carbon society," said the company.

Source: Weekly "PetroChemical News", Durham, NC, USA; 28 Nov 2011(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)