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Virent Wins ICIS Sustainability Award  

Monday, October 21, 2013

Virent Recognized for its BioForming® Technology to Produce Bio-based Paraxylene

(Madison, WI) – Virent has been awarded the 2013 ICIS Chemical Business Innovation Award, winning the Best Sustainability Innovation category for the development of its process that converts plant sugars into paraxylene (PX) for renewable, recyclable packaging and fibers. This is the second time Virent has won an ICIS Chemical Business Innovation Award. In 2008 Virent won Best Innovation for a Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise. ICIS is a leading global provider of news and information for the chemical and energy sectors.

These international awards honor the very best innovations in the chemical industry. Award applicants were evaluated by a panel of expert judges against the criteria of sustainability; use of renewable resources, public benefit and process economics. The judges were impressed by Virent’s ability to meet each criterion, citing that “sustainable solutions (like Virent’s) are exactly what customers are looking for these days.”

Virent’s paraxylene, trademarked BioFormPX™, is chemically identical to paraxylene made from petroleum and allows manufacturers to offer customers 100% bio-based PET packaging and fibers. In fact, Virent and The Coca-Cola Company entered into a strategic partnership in 2011 to accelerate the commercialization of 100% renewable, recyclable PlantBottle™ packaging. The PX molecule is also used in a wide variety of fibers and materials found in everyday products like sportswear, shoes, and automotive interiors. Consumption of paraxylene is expected to double between 2010 and 2020.

“We are honored to receive this award and would like to thank ICIS for recognizing the promise of our BioForming® technology,” explains Dr. Randy Cortright, Founder and CTO at Virent. “We are working to rapidly bring our BioFormPX product to commercial scale production to deliver a sustainable solution to the Coca Cola Company and our other customers.”

About Virent

Virent is replacing crude oil by creating the chemicals and fuels the world demands using a wide range of naturally-occurring, renewable resources. Its patented technology features catalytic chemistry to convert plant-based materials into a full range of products identical to those made from petroleum, including gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and chemicals for plastics and fibers. The products are drop-in replacements that enable full utilization of existing logistics infrastructure without blending limitations. The development of Virent’s BioForming® technology platform is supported through strategic partners including Cargill, Coca-Cola, Honda and Shell, as well as 80 employees based in Madison, Wisconsin. The company has received several grants from the U.S. Departments of Commerce, Energy and Agriculture and has been recognized with many honors, including the World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer award and the EPA’s Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award. Please learn more at

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