Japanese Corporation Invests in Thai Subsidiary to Commercialize Polymers from Inedible Biomass

Oct 2023

Toray Industries recently announced an investment of over USD 8 million in Thai entity Cellulosic Biomass Technology Co., Ltd. in order to upgrade cellulosic sugar production for fibers, resins, and films derived from inedible biomass.

Toray Industries is a multinational corporation headquartered in Japan that specializes in industrial products centered on technologies in organic synthetic chemistry, polymer chemistry, and biochemistry.

Toray established Cellulosic Biomass Technology with Mitsui DM Sugar in 2017 to demonstrate membrane-based saccharification process technologies. Toray looks to employ the additional capital to draw on cellulosic sugar production technology to swiftly commercialize key polymer materials derived from inedible biomass.

Toray aims for recycled resources to account for 20% of the raw materials in key polymer products by 2030. It is developing a range of technologies, including solutions to recycle used plastic products, switch to biomass-derived materials, and tap carbon dioxide as a raw material.

The company has created an energy-saving production technology that uses membrane separation technology to make cellulosic sugar derived from bagasse, an inedible biomass remaining after extracting juice from sugarcane. It has also innovated a technology to co-produce polyphenol, a high value-added product offering from bagasse.

Another goal of the Thai plant will be to augment an existing setup for manufacturing cellulosic sugar from bagasse with new facilities set up at Cellulosic Biomass Technology to produce such sugar from cassava pulp. This would boost the production capacity of this sugar to five metric tons daily. Toray will install boilers that can burn biomass fuels and increase wastewater treatment capacity to reduce utilities costs in making cellulosic sugar.

(Source: Toray Industries)

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