At Anellotech’s Pilot Plant in Silsbee, Texas, the use of Bio-TCat Technology has succeeded in producing a collection of renewable chemicals identical to its fossil-based counterparts. The possibility of a plastic bottle, entirely comprised of bio-polymers has been helped by efficient thermal catalytic processes, which convert biomass feedstocks materials (E.G. wood, sawdust, sugar cane bagasse (by-product), and other non-food materials) into BTX aromatics (benzene, toluene and xylenes) which can be purified. Since this development, pilot plant trials were carried out in March 2018, where over 1,200 hours of cumulative on-stream time were achieved which has provided the necessary PET resin (bio-paraxylene) to ensure the 100% bio-structure of plastic bottles.
Anellotech continues to produce other aromatic products through Bio-TCat processes. These can be used to manufacture a range of bio-based polymers such as nylon, polycarbonates, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and industrial chemicals such as LAB (Linear Alkyl Benzene), which is used in laundry detergents.
Its partner, Suntory shares this vision. One of the largest international companies in the consumer beverage industry, with gross sales of $25 billion per annum, it publicly states it is committed to the ‘promotion of environmental management’ and its ‘preservation and regeneration’. As part of this commitment, they currently use 30% plant-derived materials for its Mineral Water Suntory Tennensui brands and aspire to the development of a 100% bio-based PET bottle through this alliance with Anellotech.
David Sudolsky, President & CEO of Anellotech, said “We continue to move the technology towards commercialization and shipping the pilot plant’s product for downstream evaluation is another major milestone. Having collaborated with Suntory since 2012 to advance development of cost-competitive bio-aromatics, we hope bio-based plastics made from our Bio-TCat process and a 100% bio-based bottle soon become a reality.”
Anellotech are looking to spread the Bio influence of BTX aromatics into other sectors of consumer-driven industries. The triumph of Bio-TCat technology means BTX aromatics can also be used to make other commodity plastics such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polystyrenes, polycarbonates, nylons and polyurethanes, materials vital in the production of food packaging, clothing, footwear, carpeting, automotive and electronic components.
Likewise, Suntory business model employs a circular economic approach, incorporating the use of recycled materials and the minimalization of package waste. Suntory seeks to reduce their CO2 emissions from global operations by 25% and reduce absolute CO2 emissions along value chains by 20% compared to 2015 levels. The see this has a realistic vision through the use of modern energy-saving technologies and the application of renewable energy.
Tom Joslin, Bio-Based World News.
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