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Bio-Based Para-Xylene

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  • The Para-xylene, which Virent had trade named BioFormPX, is identical to p-xylene produced via pertroleum-based processes and can be used as a drop-in replacement in the value chain.

  • Virent, a catalytic chemistry firm says it has successfully produced para-xylene (p-xylene) from plant-based sugars.

  • Virent also demonstrated the production of 100% bio-based para-xylene which fills the "missing piece" to make a 100% bio-based PET bottle.

  • Biocatalytic process to produce terephthalic acid and isophthalic acid from p-xylene and m-xylene. Terephthalic acid has been prepared by oxidizing p-xylene with bacteria belonging to the genus burkholderia.

  • Conversion of p-xylene into terephthalic acid is accomplished by a single bacterial strain that produces all of the requisite enzymes.

  • Bio-based paraxylene provides an alternative feedstock for the PET supply chain.

  • Para-xylene is a direct precursor to terephthalic acid production, which accounts for 70% of PET monomer component. The other 30% is composed of mono-ethylene glycol where renewable-based bio-alternatives are already available. The challenging issue is to replace the PTA component by a bio-based version to cost-effectively achieve 100% renewable bio-based PET.

  • Gevo employed prototypes of commercial operations from the petrochemical and refining industries to make P-Xylene from isobutanol. This renewable para-xylene was sent to Toray for conversion into bio-based PET articles.

  • Para-xylene has by far the largest market of the three isomers. The largest use of para-xylene is in its oxidation to make terephthalic acid.

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