Gevo Opens Facility to Make Plastic Component From Plants

Gevo Inc., the U.S. biofuel producer backed by French oil company Total SA, held an opening ceremony for a demonstration facility backed by Coca-Cola Co. and Toray Industries Inc. that will produce a plastic component from plants.

The Silsbee, Texas, project uses biomass materials to make paraxylene, a building block for plastic bottles, textiles and clothing, the Englewood, Colorado-based company said in a statement today. Toray, the largest maker of carbon fiber, funded the plant and is buying the output which can be made into polyethylene terephthalate, or PET.

Coca-Cola, the world’s largest soda maker, gave research and development support with the goal of getting all of its PET bottles from plant materials, Scott Vitters, a general manager of the Atlanta-based company, said in the statement.

“We believe Gevo possesses technologies that have high potential to create it on a global commercial level within the next few years,” said Vitters. “The opening of this facility is an important milestone toward our vision of creating all of our PET plastic packaging from responsibly-sourced plant materials.”

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