On March 10, 2022, Green Earth Institute (GEI), an investee of PIEF, entered into an agreement with Mitsui Chemicals concerning research and development into the production of bio-isopropanol, a raw material for bio-polypropylene, in order to promote the commercial production of bio-polypropylene.
Polypropylene is a chemical used in containers, automobile parts and packaging materials. The annual production volume in Japan is approximately 2.5 million tons, accounting for more than 20% of all plastics produced in Japan. Some of the polyethylene resin used in plastic shopping bags and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) resin used in plastic bottles and other containers have already been converted to biomass-derived products. Since the current production of the polypropylene still depends on petrochemical manufacturing processes using petroleum as a raw material, it is desired to expand the use of polypropylene produced by bioprocessing (“bio-polypropylene”).
In July 2021, ‘a pilot project of bio-isopropanol production system by Corynebacterium’ proposed by GEI was selected to the commissioned project by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), and GEI has been developing highly productive microorganisms and optimal fermentation processes.
The agreement with Mitsui Chemicals, which has advanced technology for polypropylene synthesis using isopropanol as a raw material, marks the start of its R&D activities.
GEI is engaged in the biotechnology of a variety of different chemicals under its mission, “Fostering green technology and walking with the earth” and through this alliance with Mitsui Chemicals, GEI will promote the implementation of bio-derived products of bio-polypropylene in society and contribute to the realization of a decarbonized society.
For more information, please visit the websites:
Green Earth Institute Press Release