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

Proposed Shell project draws more than 1,000 to informational meetings

April 17, 2014 2:03 pm ET

More than 1,000 people attended a pair of public meetings hosted by Shell Chemical LP on April 16 to discuss the possibility of building a major...    More

Image

Hedging can slow the resin rollercoaster

April 17, 2014 3:00 pm ET

The good old days — if they even ever existed — are gone, and.Andy VanPutte thinks volatility in the resin market is here to stay and...    More

Image

Navigating the rough seas of selling your company

April 17, 2014 2:47 pm ET

For family owned plastics firms who survived the Great Recession, many wonder: Is it time to sell, retire and sip cocktails on the beach? Or, maybe...    More

Spain's Cristian Lay Group buys two materials units of bankrupt LSB

April 17, 2014 11:11 am ET

Spanish industrial conglomerate Cristian Lay Group has purchased two of the bankrupt Spanish PET packaging group La Seda de Barcelona.    More

EU moving closer to rules that will reduce plastic bag use by 80 percent

April 17, 2014 10:54 am ET

European Union countries could have to reduce the use of plastic shopping bags by at least 80 percent by 2019 under draft rules backed by the European...    More

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report provides analysis and discussions of economic and political conditions, market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies. In addition, there are reviews of 25 leading thermoformers in the packaging segment, assessing their growth initiatives and performance metrics over 10 years.

Learn more

Automotive Market Review and Outlook 2014 The Americas

This 75-page report features in-depth analysis of the automotive industry for the Americas. It includes discussions of market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting production and threats as well as design strategies being implemented by the major automakers. Detailed charts and data tables outline North American automotive production over the last five years.

Learn more

Plastics Building & Construction Market Review and Outlook 2014 with MS Excel chart data

This report provides in-depth analysis of the plastic building and construction market for North America, including discussions of trends, opportunities, threats and the latest developments in construction trends that impact plastics processors.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

May 6, 2014 - May 8, 2014Plastics in Medical Devices 2014

May 12, 2014 - May 12, 2014Plastics News Brazil Pharma Summit

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

February 3, 2015 - February 7, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events