Virent Inc., Madison, Wis., and BP and Johnson Matthey (JM), both based in London, have signed an agreement that will help commercialize Virent’s Bioforming® process for bio-paraxylene (PX). Virent and JM are working together to develop the technology, which produces a drop-in reformate product from renewable resources that can be used to produce renewable fuels. The reformate also may be processed into a lower carbon intensive bio-PX that can become the feedstock for bio-purified terephthalic acid — a key ingredient needed to make renewable polyester.
As part of the agreement, BP will contribute technical resources to Virent and JM’s commercialization efforts. BP also has exclusive rights to negotiate becoming the sole manufacturer of bio-PX using the Bioforming technology.
“We have been working with JM to scale up the BioForming process for production of renewable fuel and are very pleased to enter into this agreement with BP to commercialize the technology for production of bio-PX and bio-PTA,” said Dave Kettner, president of Virent. “This is an indication of the flexibility of the BioForming technology to produce both bio-fuels and bio-aromatic chemicals.”