Anellotech, a sustainable technology company focused on producing cost-competitive renewable chemicals from non-food biomass, announced that the company has entered into the next phase of its strategic partnership with Suntory Holdings Limited, one of the world’s leading consumer beverage companies. Suntory’s diverse market-leading beverage brands include Orangina, Schweppes, Ribena, Lucozade and BRAND’S, as well as major alcohol brands, Yamazaki, Hibiki, Jim Beam, Courvoisier, and Château Lagrange.
The partnership, which began in 2012 under a collaboration agreement that has provided more than $15 million in funding to date, is focused on advancing the development and commercialization of cost-competitive 100% bio-based plastics for use in beverage bottles as part of Suntory’s commitment to sustainable business practices. Suntory currently uses 30% plant-derived materials for their Mineral Water Suntory Tennensui brands and is pursuing the development of a 100% bio-bottle through this partnership.
The Anellotech alliance with Suntory supports the development of bio-aromatics including bio-paraxylene, the key component needed to make 100% bio-based polyester (polyethylene terephthalate, or “PET”) for use in beverage bottles. As an integral component in the bio-based value chain, Anellotech’s proprietary thermal catalytic biomass conversion technology (Bio-TCatTM) cost-competitively produces “drop in” green aromatics, including paraxylene and benzene, from non-food biomass.
The announcement marks a major milestone in making 100% bio-based polyester and bio-based PET bottles a reality. With construction now complete on its new, fully-integrated development and testing facility (TCat-8™), Anellotech is ready to commence installation with groundbreaking scheduled for late January 2016. Operational in 2016, this 25 meter-tall unit will confirm the viability and suitability of the Bio-TCat process for scale-up, and generate the data needed to design commercial plants using Bio-TCat technology. The TCat-8 unit was jointly designed by Anellotech and its R&D partner IFPEN, and will use a novel catalyst under joint development by Anellotech and Johnson Matthey. After verification of the continuous operation of TCat-8, Suntory plans to move ahead with studies to consider the development of the first commercial-scale Bio-TCat plant.
“By focusing on the development of substitute materials to replace petroleum in making everyday consumer products, we are expanding our commitment to reduce the environmental burden of beverage packaging, including reduction of CO2 greenhouse gas emissions,” said Munehiko Takada, head of Packaging Material Development Department at Suntory. “We are pleased with the progress Anellotech and its industry-leading partners have made, which gives us confidence in their ability to develop and commercialize a sustainable and cost-effective process for producing bio-based aromatics.”
Suntory joins Anellotech’s existing partners IFP Energies nouvelles (IFPEN), Axens, Johnson Matthey, and a multinational corporate investor, which has provided a $7 million equity investment, the first tranche of a total $10 million investment.
“We are pleased to enter the next phase of our partnership with Suntory and further advance our technology to meet growing consumer demand for products and packaging made from sustainable sources,” said David Sudolsky, President and CEO of Anellotech. “Anellotech and some of its alliance partners are already doing preliminary work to identify potential feedstocks, sites and operating partners for an initial commercial plant. With Suntory’s focus on bio-paraxylene, Anellotech can now offer a unique opportunity to new partners interested in bio-benzene-chain derivatives. This includes nylon, polycarbonate, linear alkyl benzene for laundry detergent, and styrene for styrene butadiene rubber.”
By starting from cost-advantaged feedstock and employing a solid catalyst in just one fluid-bed reactor, Anellotech’s process can produce the 100% bio-based aromatic chemicals that are used to make many significant plastics. By going directly from biomass to BTX in this one reactor, Anellotech does not make a highly-oxygenated bio-oil intermediate product often seen in multi-step pyrolysis processes, and avoids the need to add substantial amounts of costly hydrogen.
Anellotech, Suntory Holdings Partnership Progresses
The partnership is focused on advancing the development and commercialization of cost-competitive 100% bio-based plastics for use in beverage bottles
January 21, 2016