Issue Date: March 21, 2011
Pepsi To Launch Biobased Bottle
PepsiCo plans to initiate pilot production of a “100% plant-based” polyethylene terephthalate (PET) beverage bottle next year. In 2009, Coca-Cola introduced PET bottles that incorporate bioethanol-derived ethylene glycol, which accounts for about 30% of PET. Pepsi says its polymer has a “molecular structure that is identical to petroleum-based PET,” implying it is made with biobased terephthalic acid (PTA) or dimethyl terephthalate (DMT) in addition to biobased ethylene glycol. The company says the new polymer is derived from switchgrass, pine bark, and corn husks. It plans to use orange peels, potato peels, oat hulls, and other agricultural by-products in the future. Chemists have been seeking biobased routes to PTA and DMT. For example, researchers at SABIC Innovative Plastics applied for a patent on synthesizing them from terpenes such as limonene. Companies are also working to make the PTA/DMT raw material p-xylene from fermentation-derived butanol.
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