Virent BioFormPX paraxylene used for entirely plant-based bottle

By Virent Inc. | June 03, 2015

Virent has announced that its BioFormPX paraxylene was used in the world’s first demonstration-scale production of a PET plastic bottle made entirely from plant-based materials. The breakthrough bottles use BioFormPX produced at Virent’s Madison, Wisconsin, demonstration plant. The bottles were showcased as part of The Coca-Cola Co.’s pavilion at Expo Milano 2015—a world-class exhibition celebrating sustainable innovation. Far Eastern New Century worked with Virent and The Coca-Cola Co. to convert the BioFormPX to bio-PET resin.

Virent and The Coca-Cola Co. have been working together since 2011, when the companies first announced an agreement focused on the development of Virent’s biobased PX technology. In 2014, The Coca-Cola Co. made an additional investment to support an expansion of Virent’s demonstration plant capability in order to help scale-up the separation and purification steps of the production process and produce larger quantities of BioFormPX.

“The Coca-Cola Co. continues its innovative leadership commitment to sustainability and is a valued partner for Virent. Their support of our plans for the BioFormPX material in the next generation of PlantBottle packaging is critical in attracting manufacturing investment from the PET supply chain,” said Lee Edwards, Virent CEO.

In the course of its development work over the last few years, Virent has progressed its PX technology to commercial readiness and improved the process economics. Virent has run its demonstration system to fulfill customer fuel and chemical orders since it started operation in 2010. Virent currently has the capability to produce large quantities of BioFormPX paraxylene and other biobased aromatic chemicals (benzene, toluene, and mixed xylenes) for applications such as packaging, textiles and construction. Virent also has produced sizable biofuels samples (gasoline, jet and diesel) for customer sampling and product development.