The Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) announced sustainable technology company, Anellotech, as the winner of PLASTICS’ 2022 Innovation in Bioplastics Award. The announcement came as part of PLASTICS’ annual, online #BioplasticsWeek awareness and education event.
Anellotech won the award for the development of the first 100% bioPET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottle made from loblolly pine and other biomass feedstocks, potentially lessening the industry’s reliance on petroleum and natural gas as feedstocks. PET is a widely used plastic most often seen by consumers in plastic beverage bottles.
Anellotech’s patented Bio-TCat™ technology converts non-food biomass into benzene, toluene and xylene (including paraxylene used in making PET), which are chemically identical to their petroleum-based counterparts and result in a product with 70% lower greenhouse gas emissions than petroleum-based PET. The paraxylene used to make these 100% bioPET bottles was made by Anellotech at its fully automated TCat-8TM pilot plant located in East Texas. The Company’s partners and collaborators including Suntory purified and converted it into PTA, then PET (using bioMEG supplied by 3rd parties) and finally into 100% bioPET bottles.
According to Anellotech, their technology will enable the plastics industry to use the same plastic materials used today while producing them from sustainable biomass resources, dramatically improving the sustainability of the plastic industry.
“I am honored to accept this award on behalf of the employees of Anellotech,” said David Sudolsky, CEO of Anellotech. “We’re excited to join our Bio-TCat™ Process development partners, IFP Energies nouvelles and Axens, as well as our strategic partner Suntory, in creating new routes to sustainable plastics.”
“PET is the most recycled plastic and enjoys a lower comparative carbon footprint than metals or glass in most applications,” said Patrick Krieger, Vice President of Sustainability at PLASTICS. “Producing with renewable feedstocks only improves the sustainability of the material and puts the industry a step closer to realizing a more circular plastic economy.”
A formal presentation of the award will be made at the PLASTICS Re|focus Sustainability & Recycling Summit, to be held in Minneapolis in May of 2023.
Companies interested in submitting innovations for consideration in the 2023 Innovation in Bioplastics Award competition can look forward to the opening of the submission window in April of next year at https://www.plasticsindustry.org/innovation-bioplastics-award. PLASTICS recommends watching that space and following PLASTICS on social media for updates.
The Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) is the only organization that supports the entire plastics supply chain, representing nearly one million workers in the $468 billion U.S. industry. Since 1937, PLASTICS has been working to make its members and the industry more globally competitive while advancing recycling and sustainability through education initiatives, industry-leading insights and events, networking opportunities and policy advocacy, including the largest plastics trade show in the Americas, NPE2024: The Plastics Show.
Founded in 2008, Anellotech is a sustainable technology company that has invented and is developing innovative technologies to produce cost effective, renewable chemical and to recycle mixed plastics.
Over the past years Anellotech has raised over US$80 million in cash and in-kind contributions to develop its patented Bio-TCat™ technology, an efficient thermal catalytic process for converting biomass into benzene, toluene and xylene, which are chemically identical to their petroleum-based counterparts. The process has been extensively demonstrated with loblolly pine feedstocks at Anellotech’s TCat-8® pilot plant in Silsbee, Texas. Engineering work to design the first commercial plant has been completed by Anellotech and its R&D, engineering and licensing partners IFP Energies nouvelles and Axens. Work to obtain capital funding, partners and an industrial site is underway.