The Bio-Shirt: FENC debuts high-performance, biobased clothing, via Genomatica BDO, at BioPlastek

June 28, 2013 |

In Taiwan and California, Far Eastern New Century Corporation and Genomatica announced that FENC has successfully made high-performance fibers and clothing with high bio-based content. A sample shirt made with this fiber debuted publicly for the first time at the BioPlastek conference yesterday in San Francisco.


FENC achieved this result by producing one of their high-performance co-polymers using a bio-based version of the widely-used chemical BDO, made from renewable feedstocks, rather than a conventional BDO made with petroleum-based feedstocks. The specific polymer they chose to showcase is used as the core platform technology for their functionalized apparel, such as TopCool+. TopCool+ apparel provides up to 4° Celsius (7° Fahrenheit) sustained cooling for wearers without feeling ‘muggy.’

FENC used BDO produced using Genomatica’s commercially-proven process technology. Genomatica’s BDO process has been licensed by BASF and others; been used to produce 5 million pounds of BDO in just 5 weeks; and been shown deliver the same performance and use the same processes to make downstream products as using petro-BDO, because using Genomatica’s BDO process results in the exact same chemical, but ‘made better’, with renewable feedstocks.
Using BDO made with Genomatica’s process, FENC has achieved polymers with up to 50% bio-based content. With this bio-polymer, FENC can achieve fibers with 30% bio-based content, resulting in typical blends in fabrics of 15% bio-based content. FENC was able to produce fibers so readily due to the top-tier quality of the BDO produced with Genomatica’s process.

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