Englewood, Colo.-based Gevo Inc., a renewable chemicals and advanced biofuels company, reports that
it has collaborated with its potential customer Japan-based fiber, plastics and chemicals producer
Toray Industries Inc. to manufacture fully renewable and recyclable polyethylene terephthalate
(PET). Gevo manufactures isobutanol, and using prototypes of commercial petrochemical and refining
industry operations, it generated para-xylene from the isobutanol. The para-xylene was then
supplied to Toray, which converted the raw material into biobased PET products using its existing
technology and new technology developed in conjunction with Gevo. Moving forward, the companies
will work to go from lab-scale “proof-of-concept” production to commercial-scale production.
Early last year, the two companies signed a non-binding letter of interest for the future
supply of renewable para-xylene derived from Gevo’s isobutanol sometime in 2012 or later.
“We believe there is strong customer demand for fully renewable, non-petroleum derived PET
and we are working to fill that demand as soon as possible,” said Dr. Christopher Ryan, president
and COO, Gevo. “Last month, we disclosed that we had provided renewable para-xylene to
international brand owners for evaluation and the production of fully renewable bottle[s] from PET.
We are pleased to have validated this technology with Toray and look forward to building a market
for fully renewable PET as soon as possible.”
July 5, 2011