Toray develops bio-based adipic acid for new nylon

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2022-08-30 20:56:21 – Japan

Toray Industries claims to have created the first 100% bio-based adipic acid in the world from sugars obtained from non-edible biomass, which is a component of nylon 6.6.

It was accomplished using a unique synthesis method that combines microbial fermentation with a chemical purification procedure that uses separation membranes.

By roughly 2030, the firm will test the polymerization of nylon 6.6, develop manufacturing technologies, perform market research, and take other measures to commercialize uses for bio-based adipic acid. The company has already begun to build up its capabilities in this field.

Due to its incredibly long-lasting, robust, and stiff qualities, nylon 6.6 has been employed in fibers, resins, and other applications for many years. In recent years, there has been increased pressure to create environmentally friendly nylon 6.6, but one obstacle is that the traditional chemical synthesis used to make adipic acid produces a greenhouse gas called dinitrogen monoxide.

Through the use of genetic engineering technology, which artificially recombines genes to speed up the synthesis of microorganisms, Toray has discovered microorganisms that produce an adipic acid intermediate from sugars. These metabolic pathways have been redesigned within microorganisms to increase production efficiency. In order to create the best microbial fermentation routes for synthesis, bioinformatics technologies have also been used. Since its first discovery, microbes have produced more intermediates than a thousand-fold, and their synthesis efficiency has significantly grown.

Reverse osmosis separation membranes are being used by Toray to concentrate the intermediate during the purifying procedure. It is claimed that this process uses less energy than other approaches.

As opposed to adipic acid produced from petroleum, the bio-adipic acid production method doesn't emit any nitrogen dioxide.

The achievement was made possible in part through collaborative research with RIKEN, the biggest scientific organization in Japan, and the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology.

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