logo

On the way to bio-based PET, Gevo opens paraxylene plant in Texas

By: Frank Esposito

August 27, 2013

Gevo Inc. has opened a plant making plastic feedstock paraxylene from biomass in Silsbee, Texas.

Englewood, Colo.-based Gevo is working with beverage giant Coca-Cola Co. and materials makers Total SA and Toray Industries Inc. on the project. The bio-based material can be used to make PET bottles.

Since 2009, Coke has sold more than 15 billion PlantBottles made from bio-based PET. The firm wants to make all of its PET bottles with first-generation PlantBottle material by 2020. Atlanta-based Coke also is working with Virent Inc. of Madison, Wis., and Avantium of Amsterdam on bio-based feedstocks.

Gevo’s main product is a bio-based isobutanol that can be used as an alternative feedstock or in biofuels. In an Aug. 26 news release, Gevo CEO Patrick Gruber said that he believes his firm has “an elegant, viable route to fully-renewable, non-petroleum derived PET.”

“Fully renewable PET has the potential to make the world a better place by reducing our dependence on oil and the environmental consequences associated with petroleum based raw materials,” he added.

In the same release, Coca-Cola PlantBottle general manager Scott Vitters said that Gevo “possesses technologies that have high potential to create it on a global commercial level within the next few years.”

“The opening of this facility is an important milestone toward our vision of creating all of our PET plastic packaging from responsibly-sourced plant materials,” he added.