Genomatica produces world’s 1st ton of renewable nylon intermediate

January 29, 2020 |

In California, 80 years after nylon’s first commercial production, Genomatica achieved a new milestone for the material with its production of the world’s first renewably-sourced ton of the key ingredient for nylon-6, made from plants instead of crude oil. Nylon, the first totally synthetic fiber to be made into consumer products including apparel and carpet, is responsible for an estimated 60 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year through traditional production which begins with crude oil.

Genomatica’s innovation, alongside partner and major European nylon producer Aquafil, will produce 100% renewably-sourced nylon that delivers equivalent performance to the conventional nylon that touches millions of people’s lives, but with lower environmental impact. This bio-based nylon has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a $10 billion global industry that produces over five million tons of nylon-6 per year, to make carpet, clothing, car interiors, engineered plastics and food packaging.

“DuPont’s landmark production of nylon eighty years ago introduced a highly versatile staple material to the apparel, textile and engineering product industries,” said Christophe Schilling, CEO of Genomatica. “It’s a terrific material, and now, with the power of biotechnology, we can reinvent where it comes from. This is a major step forward in offering a new, more sustainable future with a better nylon for the full range of industries it serves.”

With the rise of fast fashion and the ongoing demand for nylon-based products, more sustainably sourced nylon ingredients are essential to reducing the industry’s environmental impacts. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation echoed this sentiment in its 2017 report: A New Textiles Economy, which cited making effective use of resources and moving to renewable ingredients as one of four core ambitions to realize this vision of a new global textiles system.

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Category: Fuels

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