25 June 2013 11:35 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Germany’s LANXESS has produced bio-based polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) in a commercial world-scale plant for the first time, using 1.4-butanediol (BDO) made from renewable feedstock from Genomatica, the two companies said on Tuesday.
The 20 tonnes of bio-based BDO fully complied with the demanding LANXESS specifications for petro-based BDO, allowing a direct feed of 100 percent bio-based BDO into the continuous production process.
Following the successful production run at the 80,000 tonne/year PBT plant in Hamm-Uentrop, Germany, Hartwig Meier – head of global product and application development of the high performance materials business unit of LANXESS – said: "We were excited to validate the bio-based BDO made with Genomatica's process as a one-to-one replacement for petro-based BDO for the production of our PBT."
He added: “This is a strong signal to the market and a tremendous step forward in our future plans to offer our high-tech plastic Pocan in a bio-based version, too.”
Due to its unchanged properties, the Pocan compound based on bio-based PBT can be directly used in established applications such as automotives, Meier said.
US-based Genomatica said its BDO process technology converts sugars – a renewable feedstock – into BDO in a patented, direct fermentation process.
"LANXESS' achievement proves how quickly bio-based monomers can be integrated into world-scale polymer production plants, when you deliver the exact same performance for an existing, high-volume chemical," said Christophe Schilling, CEO of Genomatica.
"This is additional proof that we got the details right," he added.
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