Anellotech and Suntory Enter Next Bioplastics Phase
US green technology company Anellotech and leading consumer beverage firm Suntory Holdings have entered the next phase of their partnership to develop and commercialize 100% bio-based plastics used in drinks bottles. Following verification of the continuous operation of TCat-8, Anellotech’s testing facility, Suntory plans to progress studies for developing the first commercial-scale Bio-TCat plant. The alliance is developing bio-aromatics, including paraxylene (PX) and benzene), from non-food biomass to produce polyethylene terephthalate (PET).
Anellotech and partners IFP Energies Nouvelles (IFPEN), Axens and Johnson Matthey, announced last month that they had completed construction of TCat-8. The unit will use a novel catalyst being developed jointly by Anellotech and Johnson Matthey. Groundbreaking is scheduled to take place late this month.David Sudolsky, president and CEO of Anellotech, said the company was already doing preliminary work with some of its alliance partners to identify potential feedstocks, sites and operating partners for an initial commercial plant. “With Suntory’s focus on bio-paraxylene, Anellotech can now offer a unique opportunity to new partners interested in bio-benzene-chain derivatives. This includes nylon, polycarbonate, linear alkyl benzene for laundry detergent, and styrene for styrene butadiene rubber,” he said.
Anellotech’s direct biomass-to aromatics technology uses just one fluid-bed reactor, avoiding the generation of a highly oxygenated bio-oil intermediate product often seen in multi-step pyrolysis processes. This, said the company, prevents the need to add substantial amounts of costly hydrogen.