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Madison firm to help Coca-Cola make renewable plastic drink bottle

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Coca-cola plastic bottles (courtesy of greenbiz.com)
Coca-cola plastic bottles (courtesy of greenbiz.com)

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - A Madison company will help Coca-Cola develop a plastic drink bottle that’s made totally from plants, and not petroleum.

Virent Incorporated creates renewable fuels. It has signed a multi-year, multi-million-dollar agreement with Coca-Cola to develop a plant-based chemical called BioForm PX.

Coke announced the deal at a news conference in New York Thursday with officials from Virent and two other bio-chemical firms involved – Gevo of Colorado and Avantium of the Netherlands.

Coca-Cola’s Rick Frazier said the technology to make bio-based materials has been around for years – but Virent and the other two firms have the best potential for creating them on a global scale.

Virent uses plant sugars to create numerous products that have the same molecular structure as petroleum. Co-founder Randy Cortright says the Coca-Cola contract gives Virent the chance to further develop its product, and open a new plant to make BioForm PX.

The first plant to make that chemical is expected to open in 2015. Virent is not sure where it will be yet.

Coca-Cola has used a recyclable bottle since 2009 with 30 percent plant-based material. BioForm PX is expected to help cover the rest.

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