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Chemistry, Materials & Packaging
Rennovia Develops Process To Produce 100% Bio-Based Nylon

Rennovia last week announced that it has created a process to make bio-based nylon materials that are nearly 25 percent cheaper to produce and emit half as much greenhouse gas emissions as conventional petroleum-derived substances.

The company claims it has demonstrated production of hexamethylenediamine (HMD) — a critical chemical used in the production of nylon — from renewable feedstocks. Coupled with Rennovia’s renewable adipic acid, this enables for the first time the production of 100 percent bio-based nylon-6,6 from monomers derived from bio-renewable feedstocks using chemical catalytic technology.

Over 3 billion pounds of HMD is produced each year from petroleum-derived propylene or butadiene, representing a global market of more than $4 billion. It is used in the manufacture of nylon-6,6 for resin and fiber applications, as well as in polyurethanes. These are used in a wide range of consumer goods, including interior, exterior and under-the-hood automotive parts, coatings, tires, shoes, apparel and carpeting.

“The development of our HMD process further validates Rennovia’s unique ability to create technological breakthroughs in the production of bio-based chemical products, with projected significant cost advantages vs. products produced from petroleum-based feedstocks,” said Robert Wedinger, President and CEO of Rennovia.

A 2010 report by the World Economic Forum concluded that converting biomass into fuels, energy and chemicals has the potential to generate upwards of $230 billion to the global economy by 2020 — the majority of which will be in the U.S.