Toray to scale up production of partially bio-based PBT

By Michael Lauzon
Correspondent

Published: April 25, 2013 1:02 pm ET
Updated: April 25, 2013 1:07 pm ET

Image By: Genomatica Inc. Sample parts, molded in March, made from PBT resin using bio-based 1,4-butanediol.

Related to this story

Topics Materials, Sustainability, Materials Suppliers

SAN DIEGO — Japanese chemicals and plastics company Toray Industries Inc. is on the verge of going commercial with partially bio-based polybutylene terephthalate.

Toray said its new PBT will use bio-based 1,4-butanediol developed by Genomatica Inc. of San Diego, Calif. Toray proved the viability in bench-scale testing that showed the polymer gave molded prototypes equal to petroleum-based PBT.

Toray will make new PBT samples available this year to establish demand for the partial biopolymer. The Tokyo firm said it will market the PBT commercially when 1,4-butanediol is readily available from a Genomatica licensee.

Genomatica's butanediol process involves an engineered microorganism, fermentation techniques and downstream processing. The firm proved commercial-scale production of 5 million pounds of the polymer intermediate in November 2012. Although other firms have explored biological methods of making butanediol, Toray claimed it is the first company to confirm use of butanediol using Genomatica's process. The development is the culmination of two years of work between the two companies.

The other intermediate chemical for PBT is terephthalic acid, currently derived from petroleum. PBT is used in auto parts, electrical components and other end-uses where its tensile strength and elasticity combined with heat resistance make it a material of choice.

Toray said environmental pressures such as limited oil supply and oil price increases and concerns about carbon dioxide emissions make plastics based on biomaterials an attractive alternative.

Toray has developed bio-based PET resin and is working on bio-based nylon.

Among other Genomatica's other bio-based programs is development of butadiene, an intermediate for some polymers and rubbers.


Comments

Toray to scale up production of partially bio-based PBT

By Michael Lauzon
Correspondent

Published: April 25, 2013 1:02 pm ET
Updated: April 25, 2013 1:07 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Barington may force a vote for Omnova board at annual meeting

January 28, 2015 3:52 pm ET

It looks like the battle between Omnova Solutions and an activist investor is heading to a vote.    More

Image

PolyOne sees sales, earnings per share climb, profit decline

January 28, 2015 3:00 pm ET

North American compounding leader PolyOne Corp. posted record adjusted earnings per share in 2014, even as the firm's sales saw modest growth and its ...    More

Image

China XD to catch up on Sichuan project

January 28, 2015 2:41 pm ET

Automotive compounder China XD Plastics Co. Ltd. (Nasdaq: CXDC) has been working on its fourth production base in Nanchong, Sichuan province since...    More

Image

Plastics help Volt hit new target

January 28, 2015 1:54 pm ET

The 2016 Volt, unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January, features a sportier exterior design — GM calls it...    More

Image

Sika opens negotiations to acquire Axson Technologies

January 28, 2015 12:17 pm ET

Specialty chemicals maker Sika AG has entered into exclusive negotiations with Axson SAS management and shareholders to acquire its epoxy and polyuret...    More

Market Reports

Plastics in Automotive: Innovation & Emerging Trends

This special report newly released by PN and sponsored by The Conair Group examines current trends in the use of plastics in automotive, materials innovations and the changing landscape. It includes a review of legislative/regulatory activity impacting vehicle development and lightweighting, market opportunities & challenges for mold and toolmakers, innovative design strategies being implemented by major OEMs and suppliers, as well as a review of key indicators in Canada, Mexico, Brazil and China.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Injection Molding Market Analysis & Processor Rankings

Plastics News BUNDLED package contains our in-depth Market Analysis of the Injection Molding segment. You will gain keen insight on current trends and our economic outlook.

As a BONUS this includes PN's updated 2014 database of North American Injection Molders RANKED by sales volume. Sort, merge, mail & prospect by end market, materials processed, region, # of plants and more.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events