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Plant-based nylon 6 ready for evaluation

Material will go to leading global brands and their value chain partners who are eager to explore and develop renewable products.

20th July 2022

Innovation in Textiles
 |  San Diego, California & Arco, Italy

Interiors, Sustainable

San Diego-based Genomatica and Aquafil, of Arco, Italy, have successfully completed the first demonstration scale production runs of plant-based nylon 6.

The companies have produced the first tons of the 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 carpets and engineering plastics.

These pre-commercial quantities will help determine the final design of future commercial plants. The material will go to leading global brands and their value chain partners who are eager to explore and develop renewable products, create showcase goods and test feedback with customers.

“Now, more than ever, global brands are taking action to incorporate sustainable materials into their products,” said Christophe Schilling, Genomatica 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 world needs every possible approach put into action to make supply chains sustainable, and making bio-based nylon is an essential piece of that,” said 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.”

Plant-based nylon 6 is Genomatica’s third major product line on a path to commercialisation. The company has executed high impact deals with a range of brands to accelerate the global commercialisation of sustainable materials, with the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 100 million tons in upcoming years. Recent milestones include a collaboration with lululemon on plant-based materials, a production milestone with partner Covestro for plant-based HMD used in sustainable coatings, a partnership with Asahi Kasei and a newly formed venture with Unilever to commercialize and scale plant-based feedstocks to make key ingredients used in everyday cleaning and personal care products.



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