Resin supplier Toray Industries, Inc. (Tokyo) and U.S. renewable chemicals process technology firm Genomatica, Inc. (San Diego, CA) have successfully synthesized a partially biobased PBT (polybutylene terephthalate) using 1,4-butanediol (BDO) made with Genomatica's biobased process technology.
he successful bench-level production reportedly provides Toray a significant boost towards commercial-scale production of partially biobased PBT. Toray's tests confirmed that PBT made using this BDO has physical properties and processability equivalent to PBT made from petroleum-derived BDO, and Toray then succeeded in making prototypes of molded components.
Toray's plan is to produce a bio-based PBT at commercial scale using BDO made with Genomatica's process. Toray plans to share samples of bio-based PBT with its customers during 2013 to help develop market demand. Based on results to date, Toray expects to bring products to market as soon as supplies of this BDO are readily available from one of the producers that Genomatica licenses to use its BDO process.