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

PP prices rise 5 cents

August 28, 2014 3:59 pm ET

After a one-month break, volatility has returned to the North American polypropylene resin market, with prices increasing by an average of 5 cents...    More

Image

DuPont fined for 2010 chemicals release

August 28, 2014 1:37 pm ET

DuPont Co. has been fined almost $1.3 million for the release of several chemicals — including plastics feedstock phosgene — at its plant ...    More

Image

Plastics News Now: Students set sail on PET boat

August 28, 2014 6:00 am ET

A toymaker moves production to the United States from China, an ice bucket maker takes the ALS challenge with a twist and students made a boat nearly ...    More

Image

Truce? ACC, US Green Building Council agree to work together on LEED

August 28, 2014 12:08 pm ET

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced Aug. 27 that they will be working together on a new...    More

Image

LyondellBasell to build feedstock plant on Gulf Coast

August 28, 2014 11:05 am ET

LyondellBasell Industries will build a world scale propylene oxide plant on the U.S. Gulf Coast with a capacity of 900,000 metric tons per year.    More

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report analyzes economic and market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as growth strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies.

Learn more

Pipe, Profile & Tubing Extrusion in North America 2014

U.S. demand for extruded plastics is expected to grow by 3 percent in 2014, with PVC remaining the largest segment.

Plastic pipe will post the strongest gains through 2018, continuing to take market share from competing materials in a range of markets.

Our latest market report provides in-depth analysis of current trends and their financial impact on the pipe, profile and tubing extrusion industry in North America.

Learn more

2014 Injection Molding Industry Report

GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY IN SIGHT FOR INJECTION MOLDERS IN 2014

In the wake of the economic turbulence earlier in this decade, molders today find themselves in much better shape. Molders are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in people, equipment and seeking inroads into new markets on a global scale.

Growth in the injection molding industry is going to be driven by low financing costs and a continued move to reshore some business.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

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

More Events