Gevo is selling para-xylene (PX) derived from its renewable iso-butanol to Toray (Japan) , one of the world’s leading producers of fibers, plastics, films, and chemicals.
PX is a primary raw material for the manufacture of polyester, polyethylene terephthalate (PET). The other component of PET is mono-ethylene glycol (MEG), where a bio-based alternative is now being used in Coca-Cola’s PlantBottle. According to Coca-Cola, around 8% of the company’s PET plastic bottles in 2012 contained PlantBottle™ technology. The company has distributed more than 15 billion PlantBottles™ since 2009.
PET has the largest global market share of all synthetic fibers and is also used in plastic bottles, films, and as a polymer for many other applications.
Gevo’s bio-PX was sold under a previously announced offtake agreement with Toray. Toray also provided funding assistance for the construction of Gevo’s PX demo plant at its biorefinery at South Hampton Resources in Silsbee, Texas, where Gevo also produces other hydrocarbon products such as renewable jet fuel and renewable iso-octane . (Picture of the site thanks to Gevo)
Toray expects to produce fibers, yarns, and films from Gevo’s PX, for scale-up evaluation and market development purposes.
Gevo said it will recognize revenue associated with both the sale of the PX, as well as the initial funding assistance provided by Toray for the project.
Gevo has also received support from The Coca-Cola Company for the development of its renewable PX technology. Research and development support was provided by The Coca-Cola Company under a previously announced Joint Development Agreement.