Japanese materials maker Toray Industries is going to start mass production of polyester made entirely from plants, a breakthrough poised to cut reliance on petroleum and slash carbon emissions, Nikkei has learned. Toray developed what is being described as the world’s first 100% plant-based polyester jointly with Virent, a U.S. biofuels company. Production is set to begin in the early part of this decade, people familiar with the matter said.
BP, Virent Inc. and Johnson Matthey (JM) signed an agreement that will further advance the commercialization of Virent’s Bioforming® process for production of bio-paraxylene (PX), a key raw material for the production of renewable polyester.
Virent established a strategic Consortium with Tesoro, Toray, Johnson Matthey and The Coca-Cola Company focused on completing the development and scale up of Virent’s BioForming® technology to produce low carbon bio-based fuels and bio-paraxylene (a key raw material for the production of 100% bio-polyester). The Consortium members will work together to finalize technical developments and commercial arrangements, with the objective of delivering a commercial facility to produce cost effective, bio-based fuels and bio-paraxylene.
Virent and Tesoro announced last Tuesday they have reached an agreement for Tesoro to become Virent’s new strategic owner. The acquisition will support the scale up and commercialization of Virent’s BioForming® technology for the production of low carbon bio-based fuels and chemicals. As a result of the acquisition, Virent will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Tesoro and remain in Madison, Wisconsin.
Bioproducts are everywhere. And now we have also bio-based shirts. Virent, the bioeconomy company headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin, announced that its BioFormPX® paraxylene was used to produce the world’s first 100% plant-based polyester shirts. “This important project- the company says – demonstrates the potential of Virent’s technology to produce demonstration quantities of bio-based, crude oil free polyester for production of garments and textiles”.
Virent was chosen to participate in the initial Rolls-Royce Laboratory Test program, and was then selected by Rolls-Royce to proceed to the more advanced Rig Testing portion of the program. Virent’s SAK fuel blend met all test requirements and the report concluded that the fuel “…offers the potential to be [a] drop-in fuel and hence achieve approval for use for the aviation industry”.
The bioeconomy is a great protagonist in Milan, at Expo 2015, a world-class exhibition celebrating sustainable innovation. The breakthrough bottles use BioFormPX® produced at Virent’s Madison, Wisconsin demonstration plant, are showcased as part of The Coca-Cola Company’s pavilion. BioFormPX paraxylene was used in the world’s first demonstration scale production of a PET plastic bottle made entirely from plant-based materials.
Virent has successfully produced bio-paraxylene, bio-toluene and bio-benzene at demonstration scale and has confirmed that all three chemicals meet typical industry specifications. Virent has also produced sample volumes of bio-Aromatic 100, an aromatic solvent widely used in paint, industrial, and agricultural solvent applications. The company has broadened its product offerings for renewable chemicals through this process.
U.S. based Virent announced it has successfully received fuel registration from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its BioForm Gasoline in blends of up to 45%. As a registered fuel, Virent’s biogasoline can now be used in on-highway motor vehicles.