Madison, Wisconsin – September 8, 2014 –Madison, WI – Virent announced today that The Coca-Cola Company is making an additional investment in the company’s development and commercialization of its bio-based paraxylene, BioFormPX®. This investment will enable Virent to scale up separation and purification of BioFormPX material at their demonstration plant in Madison, WI.
“Over the course of our work together, Virent has continuously delivered on their commitments and advanced their technology. That progress supports building additional capability for Virent and advances us on the path to a full-scale commercial solution for our 100% plant-based PET plastic packaging” said Scott Vitters, General Manager, PlantBottle™ Innovation Platform at The Coca-Cola Company.
Virent and The Coca-Cola Company have been working together since 2011, when they first announced their Joint Development Agreement and a Master Supply Agreement focused on the development of bio-based PX technology.
“The Coca-Cola Company continues to be a valued partner for Virent. Their intention to use our BioFormPX material in the next generation of PlantBottle™ packaging is critical in attracting manufacturing partners from the PET supply chain. This – along with the progress we’ve made in our joint development work – moves us closer to seeing the first commercial 100% bio-based PET bottles on retail shelves made using Virent technology” said Lee Edwards, Virent CEO.
In the course of their work with The Coca-Cola Company, Virent has progressed their PX technology to commercial readiness, improved the process economics and produced bio-based PX which has been converted by The Coca-Cola Company into 100% bio-based PET bottles. This new investment will allow production of larger quantities of BioFormPX material.
Virent has run its demonstration system to fulfill a number of fuel and chemical orders since it started operation in 2010. This added capability to produce larger quantities of purified PX will be combined with additional system enhancements to increase production capabilities, including larger volumes of bio-fuel and other bio-materials.
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.