Toray Industries, Inc. has succeeded in producing laboratory-scale samples of the world's first fully renewable biobased PET fiber by using fully renewable biobased PET derived from biobased paraxylene from Gevo, Inc., a leading company in renewable chemicals and advanced biofuels. Gevo has succeeded in converting isobutanol, produced from biomass by employing its own highly effective production method that uses synthetic biology, to synthesize para-xylene employing conventional chemical process used in commercial operations.Toray used terephthalic acid synthesized from Gevo's biobased para-xylene and commercially available renewable mono ethylene glycol (MEG) as raw materials, and successfully produced the PET samples by applying a new technology and PET polymerization in June this year. This biobased PET has exhibited properties equivalent to petro-based PET in laboratory conditions.
Toray has also succeeded in the production of a fiber using this fully renewable biobased PET for the first time in the world. The success of this trial, albeit under laboratory conditions, is proof that polyester fiber can be industrially produced from fully renewable biomass feedstock alone. This is a significant step that would contribute to the realization of a sustainable, low-carbon society.