Anellotech Takes Step toward Renewable Bottle
US green technology company Anellotech and its French joint development partners IFP Energies Nouvelles (IFPEN) and Axens have successfully recovered high-purity bio-based paraxylene (PX) from renewably-sourced aromatics at Anellotech’s TCat-8 pilot plant in Silsbee, Texas.
New York-based Anellotech said the development is a “key milestone” in its drive to produce 100% bio-based PET for beverage bottles in cooperation with Japanese-owned global consumer beverage company Suntory.
The partners will now begin purifying additional PX at Axens’ pilot plant in France to manufacture prototype bottles as well as sample quantities of bio-based benzene.
Continuous trials with the purification process began in France last year, and according to Anellotech the high-purity bio-PX test samples produced to date have fully met all of the international specifications for downstream derivatives in conversion to PET.
As larger amounts of the key PET feedstock are purified, the technology company plans to begin making renewable resin for the bottles. The project will enable the first major production of bio-PET from continuous, cost-effective processing of non-food biomass, the company said.
Anellotech CEO David Sudolsky said planning is now under way for the first commercial plant to use the company’s proprietary Bio-TCat process to produce paraxylene, benzene and other aromatics from sustainably-sourced loblolly pine wood. Output will be used in bio-based chemicals and biofuels.