Gevo, the world’s only commercial producer of bio-isobutanol, opened its demonstration-scale paraxylene plant in Silsbee, Texas, USA. The facility is located adjacent to the company’s existing jet fuel plant, and is established as a biorefinery that will serve the renewable chemicals and true drop-in biofuels markets.
According to Gevo, it is working with Toray Industries, Inc, one of the world’s leading producers of fibers, plastics, films, and chemicals, to develop renewable paraxylene, a building block for fully renewable polyester for packaging films and fibers used in textiles, clothing and other applications. Funding assistance for the construction of the paraxylene plant was provided by Toray.
Gevo and Toray have successfully produced fully renewable and recyclable polyethylene terephthalate (PET) fibers and films from isobutanol at laboratory scale in 2011. Toray has also signed an off take agreement for paraxylene produced at the Silsbee facility.
Toray will purchase paraxylene from Gevo and will convert it into PET fibers, textiles and films for scale-up evaluation and market development purposes.