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Aquafil and Genomatica team up for bio-nylon

Italian yarn-maker Aquafil and biobased chemicals company Genomatica have signed a multiyear agreement to create caprolactam, a key ingredient of nylon, from plant-based renewable ingredients.

The companies will develop Genomatica’s GENO CPL process to move away from crude oil-derived materials traditionally used by the nylon industry.

They say the product will be fully comparable with nylon made from crude oil-derived caprolactam, and will not require any machine or process adjustments by the nylon supply chain. 

Aquafil launched the Econyl Regeneration System in 2011 to produce nylon made from regenerated waste, including old fishing nets. Its is used by brands including Vaude, Speedo and Finisterre.

Giulio Bonazzi, CEO of Aquafil, said: “We are excited by the opportunity to be the first to bring the benefits of this new technology to our customers, which is in line with our commitment to creating sustainable products. Genomatica brings the technology, innovation and track record to help us achieve this.”