Virent, PlantPET Technology Collaborative announce agreement

By Virent Inc. | October 31, 2014

Virent Inc. and the PlantPET Technology Collaborative recently announced that the parties have signed an expression of interest that provides individual members of the PTC an option on preferred access to Virent’s 100 percent plant-based BioFormPX paraxylene (PX) to be produced at the company’s first industrial manufacturing facility. The plant-based PX, when combined with existing PET technology, allows manufacturers to offer customers 100 percent renewable, recyclable, PET packaging and polyester fibers. 

The PTC is comprised of world class companies, such as The Coca-Cola Co., Ford Motor Co., H.J. Heinz Company, NIKE Inc., and The Procter and Gamble Co., all of whom are large users of PET for packaging materials or PET polyester fiber for textiles. The PTC was formed to accelerate and support the commercial production of bio-based PET polyester. In 2011, Virent and The Coca-Cola Company entered into a strategic Joint Development Agreement and a Master Supply Agreement to develop and scale-up Virent’s BioFormPX product. Earlier this year, Virent announced that The Coca-Cola Company made an additional investment in the company’s development and commercialization of its paraxylene to scale up separation and purification of BioFormPX material at their demonstration plant in Madison, WI. 

“This Expression of Interest from the PTC demonstrates our support for Virent’s efforts to develop commercial volumes of plant-based PX,” said Robert Rankin, spokesperson for the PTC. “We believe that Virent could become a key driver in the renewable chemicals space and pave the way towards offering customers 100% plant-based materials, whether in packaging, automobiles, athletic apparel, or household goods, when they achieve commercial scale.”

“We are delighted to have the support of the PTC as we work to pioneer the global adoption of plant-based PET.  PTC member companies are all global brand leaders in their respective sectors, generating confidence in growing demand for innovative sustainable products for loyal customers,” said Lee Edwards, CEO of Virent.

To capture economies of scale, the Expression of Interest states that PTC members have the opportunity to source bio-based PET that has been produced using BioFormPX product from Virent’s industrial manufacturing facility. Virent is progressing discussions with potential manufacturing partners to assist with the deployment of its BioForming® technology to produce BioFormPX product at commercial scale.