Aquafil and Genomatica have announced a multi-year agreement to create sustainable caprolactam, a key ingredient to producing 100-percent sustainable nylon. The collaboration aims to develop a commercially advantageous bioprocess (Genomatica’s GENO CPL™ process) to make caprolactam using plant-based renewable ingredients rather than the crude oil-derived materials traditionally used by the nylon industry.
Used in a variety of nylon-based products including carpet and apparel, caprolactam has a worldwide market of more than five million tons per year. Genomatica’s GENO CPL process aims to provide an environmentally friendly way to make caprolactam with better economics, including for smaller-scale plants. Additionally, it will enable licensees and their customers to differentiate themselves by offering a more sustainable bio-based product with a performance that will be fully comparable to nylon made from crude oil-derived caprolactam. In addition, it won’t require any machine or process adjustments by the nylon supply chain. Genomatica is the licensor of the GENO CPLT process.
Aquafil is a leading producer of nylon yarn and launched the ECONYL® Regeneration System in 2011 to produce nylon made from 100-percent regenerated waste. A large and growing number of globally recognized sportswear, fashion, luxury, and carpet brands choose ECONYL as the sustainable ingredient for their product. Like the ECONYL process, the GENO CPL process eliminates the significant amount of by-products common to most crude oil-derived caprolactam production, and will allow producers to diversify their sources in terms of raw material.
Genomatica invites other leaders in the nylon value chain to join its bio-nylon program and Aquafil encourages further collaboration with supply chain partners. By joining the program, companies ranging from chemical producers and product makers to agriculture companies and major brands can engage, influence priorities, and gain access to Genomatica’s technologies and supply of bio-based chemicals.