Large scale production of plant-based nylon-6 edges closer

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Sustainable materials developer Genomatica (Geno) and Aquafil, an Italy-headquartered nylon manufacturer, have successfully completed the first demonstration scale production runs for plant-based nylon-6.

Geno and Aquafil have produced several tons of plant-based nylon-6 building block caprolactam, converted it to nylon-6 polymer, and are now in the process of transforming it for evaluation in nylon applications such as yarns for textile and carpet and engineering plastics as part of pre-commercial quantities from demonstration production taking place in Europe.

“Now, more than ever, global brands are taking action to incorporate sustainable materials into their products,” said Christophe Schilling, Geno CEO. “We’re working to build purposeful, traceable and transparent supply chains, in this case for nylon-6, with the goal to provide more sustainable products that consumers demand and material solutions that can help brands achieve their ESG goals.”

The companies have been collaborating to first produce pilot-scale quantities of plant-based nylon-6 and have now advanced to produce pre-commercial quantities at demonstration scale which will help determine the final design of future commercial production plants.

“The world needs every possible approach put into action to make supply chains sustainable and making bio-based nylon an essential piece of that,” added Giulio Bonazzi, Aquafil CEO. “Plant-based nylon can perfectly complement our approach to depolymerizing nylon products once they reach the end of their useful life. Together, we share a vision to lead the transition to more sustainable materials which has driven our long-term collaboration.”

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKI Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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