Virent’s Chemical Completes Plant-Based PET Bottle

Bioproducts Pioneer Virent Produces the Missing 70% Needed to Create 100% Renewable PET Packaging

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Madison, Wisconsin, USA June 6, 2011 – Virent announced it has successfully made Paraxylene (PX) from 100% renewable plant sugars. The PX molecule, when combined with existing PET technology, allows companies to offer customers 100% natural, renewable, plant-based PET and packaging. This announcement is the culmination of Virent’s mixed-xylenes development which started in 2010.

“Today confirms a significant achievement for global leaders in consumer products,” said Virent CEO, Lee Edwards. “Our plant-based PX paves the way for 100% sustainable, recyclable products and packaging with complete freedom from crude oil.”

Virent’s Paraxylene, which has been trademarked BioFormPX™, can be used in bottling, packaging and in a wide variety of fibers and materials. The chemical is made through a patented, catalytic process which converts plant-based sugars into PX molecules identical to those made from petroleum. All of Virent’s chemicals are ‘drop in’ replacements that enable full utilization of existing processing and logistics infrastructure without blending limitations. “Our PX can be blended at any ratio the customer desires, and made from a wide variety of feedstocks, including sugar cane, corn, and woody biomass,” explains Edwards. “Our catalytic process is tunable to customer specs, and situated to meet the entire spectrum of fossil fuel replacement.”

The company is working with potential partners and customers to explore large-scale commercial options to augment its existing 10,000 gallon per-year demonstration plant in Madison, Wisconsin.

About Virent

Virent is in the business of replacing crude oil by applying clever chemistry to create the chemicals and fuels the world demands using a wide range of naturally-occurring, renewable resources. Our patented technology features catalytic chemistry to convert plant-based sugars into a full range of products identical to those made from petroleum, including gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and chemicals for plastics and fibers. Our products are ‘drop in’ replacements that enable full utilization of existing logistics infrastructure without blending limitations.

The development of Virent’s BioForming® technology platform is supported through strategic investors including Cargill, Shell and Honda, as well as over 100 employees based in Madison, Wisconsin. The company has received several grants from the U.S. Departments of Commerce, Energy and Agriculture and has been recognized with many honors, including the World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer award and the EPA’s Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award.

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Kelly Morgan
Marketing Manager, Virent
3571 Anderson St.
Madison, WI 53704