Lanxess and Genomatica run first production of bio-based PBT

Lanxess and Genomatica has started first production of bio-based polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) in the latter’s world-scale 80,000-metric tonne/year capacity production plant in Hamm-Uentrop, Germany, using 20 metric tonnes of bio-based 1,4-butanediol (BDO) made with Genomatica’s commercially-proven process.

According to a press release from Lanxess, this BDO has fully complied with their stringent specifications for petro-based BDO, allowing a direct feed of 100% bio-based BDO into the continuous production process.

The properties and the quality of the resulting bio-based PBT are fully equivalent to conventional petro-based PBT with regard to all tested parameters.

Genomatica’s BDO process technology converts sugars – a renewable feedstock – into the major chemical BDO in a patented, ’direct’ fermentation process.

“We were excited to validate the bio-based BDO made with Genomatica’s process as a one-to-one replacement for petro-based BDO for the production of our PBT,” said Hartwig Meier, Head of Global Product and Application Development of the High Performance Materials Business Unit, Lanxess.

“This is a strong signal to the market and a tremendous step forward in our future plans to offer our high-tech plastic Pocan in a bio-based version, too. Due to its unchanged properties Pocan compounds based on bio-based PBT can directly be used in established application fields such as automotive or electro & electronics area. This fits very well with our strategy of ‘Green Mobility’.”

Christophe Schilling, Ph.D., CEO of Genomatica also commented, “Lanxess’s achievement proves how quickly bio-based monomers can be integrated into world-scale polymer production plants when you deliver the exact same performance for an existing, high-volume chemical.”


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