Low-cost, high-yield process for making polyethylene terephthalate

A low-cost, high-yield process for making polyethylene terephthalate (PET) by a team led by a University of Massachusetts chemical engineer. “You can mix our renewable chemical with the petroleum-based material and the consumer would not be able to tell the difference," said Paul J. Dauenhauer, an assistant professor of chemical engineering, who led the team of researchers from UMass and University of Delaware. Their findings were recently published in the journal ACS Catalysis. The new process transforms glucose, a simple sugar derived from such things as grasses and trees, into paraxylene. As per the team leader, a complete cost analysis and process design is still one to two years away. But the process has significant benefits over competing technologies- the process can achieve 75% yield of p-xylene, while competing technologies only achieve yields below 20%.
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