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SunTory invests additional $9M in Anellotech; renewable aromatics

Japan-based Suntory Holdings Limited, one of the world’s leading consumer beverage companies, has invested an additional $9 million in Anellotech’s Bio-TCat technology. This latest tranche, which is part of a new $15-million package based on Anellotech achieving specific milestones, brings Suntory’s total investment in Anellotech to more than $25 million to date.

Anellotech’s Bio-TCat Process will produce cost-competitive renewable aromatic chemicals (benzene, toluene and xylenes, “BTX”) from non-food biomass for use in manufacturing plastics such as polyester, nylon, polycarbonate, polystyrene, or for renewable transportation fuels. Anellotech recently announced the completion of the commissioning of its 25-meter TCat-8 pilot plant, and has commenced the critical development program to validate process economics and obtain necessary data for commercial plant design. (Earlier post.)

Bio-TCat’s cost-competitive advantage results from the use of non-food biomass such as wood or agricultural residues, and an efficient and economical catalyst as the only significant inputs.

By using renewable and readily available non-food feedstock materials the Bio-TCat process is less expensive compared to bio-based processes relying on sugar as a feedstock, and avoids competition with the food chain. These renewable products are expected to be produced and sold profitably either against identical, petroleum-derived BTX counterparts, or as renewable fuel blend stocks.

The alliance with Suntory, one of Anellotech’s principal strategic investment partners, began in 2012 with the goal of enabling the development and commercialization of cost-competitive 100 percent bio-based plastics for use in beverage bottles. Suntory currently uses 30% plant-derived materials for its Mineral Water Suntory Tennensui brands and is pursuing the development of a 100% bio-based PET bottle through this alliance, as part of its commitment to sustainable business practices.

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