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Genomatica to increase Bio-based nylon-6 by 50 times with Aquafil

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2020-11-23 12:18:28 – Austria

Genomatica collaborated with Aquafil to develop a demonstration-scale facility to produce the largest quantity of 100% renewable nylon-6. This partnership has surfaced due to the increasing demands of consumers for sustainable products. The manufactured material will be provided to leading global brands eager to explore and develop renewable products, design showcase goods and take feedback from consumers. The venture is a 50-fold expansion over previous production levels and represents significant escalation toward commercializing renewably-sourced nylon-6. Nylon-6 is a material that can reshape a $960 billion textile industry that influences millions of lives every day, from the carpet walked on to the garments worn.

This long term partnership lays down the framework for a more sustainable nylon value chain by expanding a longstanding Genomatica partnership with major European nylon producer Aquafil. The two companies first worked together in January to produce the world’s first ton of bio-nylon-6 precursor at pilot scale. Genomatica and Aquafil are moving directly to a larger-than-typical demonstration scale to support initial commercial applications by committed brand partners. The initial production runs are expected to produce 50 tons of bio-nylon for pre-commercial use by Genomatica’s brand partners, with the demonstration plant in place to provide continuous support until commercial-scale plants are in operation.

Christophe Schilling, the CEO at Genomatica, stated that Bio-nylon has been positioned to replace a material that’s used in millions of applications every day. He stated that their research estimated a healthy and economic turmoil, with 56% of Americans still pressurising brands to prioritize sustainability. The scaling plan will offer their brand partners a key solution to meet their sustainability objectives, differentiate themselves, and meet surging consumer demand.

The two companies are expected to work hand-in-hand to implement and refine their respective technology contributions through this demonstration program and create large quantities of bio-nylon. Aquafil will take the lead of building and operate the downstream operations of this large-scale demonstration plant at its facility in Slovenia, where it will transform Genomatica’s bio-based precursor to commercial-quality bio-nylon-6 yarns, films and engineered plastics. The produced textile will be utilised to develop renewably-sourced products that could replace traditional nylon that generates over 60 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually. 

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