Anellotech and Suntory Holdings have entered into the next phase of their strategic partnership to develop and commercialize cost-competitive 100 percent bio-based plastics for use in beverage bottles. Suntory is one of the world’s leading consumer beverage companies whose brands include Orangina, Schweppes and Jim Beam.
The Anellotech alliance with Suntory supports the development of bio-aromatics including bio-paraxylene, the key component needed to make 100 percent bio-based polyethylene terephthalate (PET) for use in beverage bottles. As an integral component in the bio-based value chain, Anellotech’s proprietary thermal catalytic biomass conversion technology (Bio-TCat) cost-competitively produces “drop in” green aromatics, including paraxylene and benzene, from non-food biomass.
Anellotech has completed construction of its development and testing facility (TCat-8); installation is scheduled to begin in late January 2016. The 25 meter-tall unit will confirm the viability and suitability of the Bio-TCat process for scale-up, and generate the data needed to design commercial plants using Bio-TCat technology.
Bio-TCat technology will allow Anellotech and its partners to accelerate the development of bio-based paraxylene and other widely used chemicals including benzene, toluene and other xylenes (commonly known as BTX) from non-food sources. This will allow for the first cost-effective production and commercial realization of 100 percent bio-PET bottles for consumer use.
The partnership began in 2012 under a collaboration agreement that has provided more than $15 million in funding to date.
Approximately 54 million metric tons of PET are manufactured globally each year. The global bio-based PET market is expected to reach 5,800 kilotons by 2020, according to a study by Grand View Research.