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Toray moves to produce plant-based polyester yarn

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2014-07-11 16:15:00 – FRIEDRICHSHAFEN

Toray, Osaka-based, an integrated chemical industry group developing its business in 25 countries and regions world wide, as part of its sustainable textiles drive this year it will move away from making 100 percent petroleum-derived polyester fibre and instead produce polyester made from ‘plant-based’ bio-polymer chip.

Toray has developed a lab-scale 100 percent bio-based polyester yarn, which will eventually be marketed under its ‘Ecodear’ brand when it completes commercialisation.

Kojo Sasaki from the Green Innovation Team at Toray, said that at Toray, they always set the bar a bit higher than others expect, realising what others thought was impossible. Their vision is to achieve polyester production without using crude oil resources, as Mother Earth’s gifts need to be protected.

The new polyester yarn uses a bio-polymer, which is derived from waste molasses, a bi-product of the sugar industry, as opposed to fossil-fuel resources.

Previously, bio-based polymers for making PET yarns have also contained a percentage (around 60 per cent) of oil-derived chemicals. This is the first time that a 100 per cent bio-based polymer has been used by Toray to make a polyester yarn – albeit at lab-scale.

The new development is based on technology that sources raw materials from sugar production facilities in India and Brazil.

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