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 Sustainability, Materials, 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

Study: 100 times less plastic than expected polluting ocean surface

July 23, 2014 3:46 pm ET

There's as much as 100 times less plastic floating on surface of the world's oceans than would be expected given the mushrooming use of the material...    More

Image

Molder provides quality parts and quality work for disabled adults

July 23, 2014 2:40 pm ET

Coarc Manufacturing Inc. does injection molding, assembly and all of the work of traditional manufacturer, but it also serves as part of Coarc Inc. a ...    More

Image

Asia to remain chemical giant but US shale will bring competition

July 23, 2014 1:00 pm ET

A new IHS Chemical report on global spending for chemical production predicts capacity additions will peak in 2014 at $120 billion and then will...    More

Image

DuPont quarterly sales drop, income rises

July 23, 2014 12:46 pm ET

DuPont Co.'s sales and net income experienced slight changes for the second quarter 2014, as operating earnings dropped to $1.17 per share in the...    More

Image

Celanese to expand production in Brazil

July 23, 2014 11:15 am ET

Celanese Corp., the Irving, Texas-based chemicals and specialty materials company, has announced that it will expand its manufacturing capabilities at...    More

Market Reports

Injection Molders Market Report & Ranking 2014

This special package contains our 132-page 2014 Market Report on the Injection Molding segment and our exclusive 2014 RANKINGS database of 500+ Injection Molders for a discounted package price.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Market Review & Outlook 2014

This special report from Plastics News examines the North American plastics recycling industry and provides insight into indicators that impact market viability, including Resin pricing trends for virgin and recycled market material and historical Resin production trends for post- consumer and industrial waste.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

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

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

More Events