GE Plastics, Pittsfield, Mass., has developed a novel process to manufacture PBT resin using 85% post-consumer PET waste to produce materials that are virtually identical to standard grades. Launched in Japan as part of its "ecomagination" program, new Valox iQ PBT and Xenoy iQ PC/PBT resins are based on reclaimed PET bottles and film. PET from the reclaimed products is depolymerized and the resulting oligomers are then polymerized with butanediol to make PBT. GE expects to commercialize four Valox iQ and two Xenoy iQ grades in the fourth quarter. They will be competitively priced but with some premium attached, GE says. GE is working with multiple customers, including Tier 1 automotive supplier Denso in Japan. Other potential uses are in consumer electronics.
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