Madison, Wisconsin – December 11, 2014 – Virent announced today that it has successfully produced bio-paraxylene, bio-toluene and bio-benzene at demonstration scale and has confirmed that all three chemicals meet typical industry specifications. Virent has also produced sample volumes of bio-Aromatic 100, an aromatic solvent widely used in paint, industrial, and agricultural solvent applications. The company has broadened its product offerings for renewable chemicals through this process.
Virent’s production of paraxylene at its Madison, Wisconsin laboratory, has reached a capacity of 10 tons per year which will allow Virent to serve the needs of multiple collaborators for product validation and market demonstrations. Aromatic 100, benzene and toluene are also available at smaller capacities for similar purposes. These aromatic chemicals are key building blocks for a wide range of materials and markets including food and beverage packaging, textiles, automobiles, detergents, construction materials, and paints and coatings.
Lee Edwards, Virent CEO, noted there has been expanding interest from end-users with multiple orders in hand and several more expected soon. “The ability to deliver these renewable products for market validation and market trials is an essential step in building confidence for commercial deployment”, said Edwards. “We have successfully demonstrated that our renewable products meet industry specifications and we are eager to provide samples to meet the growing demand for sustainable products.”
Virent is replacing crude oil by creating the chemicals and fuels the world demands using a wide range of naturally-occurring, renewable resources. Its patented technology features catalytic chemistry to convert plant-based materials into a full range of products identical to those made from petroleum, including gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and chemicals for plastics and fibers. The 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 partners including Cargill, Coca-Cola, Honda and Shell, as well as 80 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.