Development of Fully Renewable Biomass PET Polymer
In a joint effort by Toray Industry of Japan and Gevo of U.S, the company’s have successfully developed a fully renewable biomass based Polyethylene Tetraphthalate (PET) Polymer. Geno’s share of effort in developing this fully renewable PET was in converting isobutanol, which was produced from biomass using genetically modified microorganisms to para-xylene through use of conventional chemical process. To complete the development of this Biomass driven PET, Toray applied a new technology and PET polymerization as well as film production technology to terephthalic acid which was synthesized from Gevo’s biomass driven para-xylene and commercially available and renewable mono ethylene glycol (MEG) as raw materials.
The resulting biomass driven PET has shown almost the same properties as petroleum based PET under the laboratory conditions. This is a significant effort in achieving low-carbon society given the enormous use of petroleum based PET in our normal daily life. Currently, around 50 million tons of PET is produced annually worldwide for production of fibers, films and bottles.