Anellotech, along with IFP Energies nouvelles (IFPEN) and Axens, has successfully produced bio-based paraxylene, bringing 100% renewable plastic bottle closer to reality.

PET bottle

Image: Bio-based paraxylene is a significant component to make 100% renewable plastic bottle. Photo: courtesy of khunaspix /

The partnership has processed renewably-sourced aromatics at the TCat-8 pilot plant of Anellotech to recover high-purity bio-based paraxylene.

Anellotec said the production of bio-based paraxylene is a crucial development milestone for the company and global consumer beverage firm Suntory, as both have collaborated to manufacture the bottles.

Anellotech, IFPEN and Axens will start the purification of additional paraxylene to create pilot sample of 100% bioPET for beverage bottles, in addition to sample quantities of bio-based benzene whose derivatives are used in clothing, toys, mobile phones and laundry detergent.

The derivatives include nylon, ABS, polycarbonate, linear alkyl benzene.

Suntory packaging material department chief specialist Munehiko Takada said: “We’re delighted with this achievement, a key milestone on the path to 100% bio-based PET bottles.

“High-purity bio-paraxylene is an important material for our business, especially from a sustainability viewpoint.”

The renewably-sourced aromatics produced by Anellotech will be purified by IFPEN and Axens in Europe.

More than 4,000 hours of cumulative on-stream time have been achieved, since the announcement of a successful two-week continuous trial in March 2018 at Anellotech’s TCat-8 pilot plant located in Silsbee of Texas.

Initially produced high-purity bio-paraxylene test samples have achieved ASTM International specifications for downstream derivatives in conversion to PET, said Anellotech.

Anellotech will start the production of renewable PET resin for prototype bottle manufacture and product trials, after large amounts of paraxylene are purified.

Anellotech president and CEO David Sudolsky said: “The successful production of high-purity bio-paraxylene from non-food biomass feedstock represents a significant accomplishment for Anellotech, its partners and industry at large, as this latest breakthrough brings 100% renewable plastic bottles closer to reality.”

Established in 2008, Anellotech is engaged in the production of cost- competitive renewable chemicals and fuels from non-food biomas.

The firm’s Bio-TCat technology is an advanced thermal catalytic process for converting biomass into BTX aromatics.

High purity benzene, toluene and xylenes are used to make polymers such as polyester (PET) polystyrenes, polycarbonates, nylons and polyurethanes, which are useful in the manufacturing of plastic consumer goods such as beverage bottles, food packaging, clothing and other applications.