Renewable chemicals and biofuels company Gevo will manufacture plastic component paraxylene at its newly opened plant in Silsbee, Texas.
The company has collaborated with Coca-Cola and Toray Industries to develop the new production technology, which is used to produce fully renewable PET for beverage bottles.
Toray Industries, which produces fibres, plastics, films and chemicals, provided funding assistance for the construction of the plant. Coca-Cola provided research and development support.
Toray has signed an offtake agreement for paraxylene produced at the Silsbee facility, and will buy the component from Gevo to convert it into PET fibres.
Coca-Cola PlantBottle packaging innovation platform general manager Scott Vitters said that the opening of the new facility is a step towards the company's vision of creating all of its PET plastic packaging from responsibly sourced plant materials.
"While the technology to make bio-based materials in a lab has been available for many years, we believe Gevo possesses technologies that have high potential to create it on a global commercial level within the next few years," Vitters added.
Gevo's paraxylene, once converted to bio-based PET, has the capability for any commercial application served by petroleum-derived PET currently.
Toray R&D division senior vice president, member of the board and general manager Yukichi Deguchi said: "PET is one of the major polymer products for Toray and the completion of this demonstration-scale facility by Gevo is a significant step to evaluate business potential for the fully renewable PET."
Image: Coca-Cola provided research and development support for Gevo's new plant in the US. Photo: courtesy of Autiger.