CHICAGO - After initiating work on a new polyethylene terephthalate (PET) production technology in 2000, resin manufacturer Eastman Chemical (Kingsport, TN) commercially launched its ParaStar PET, with finished products headed to store shelves currently and 350,000 tonnes of production capacity from a $100-million-plus operation planned by 2008. Produced in Columbia, SC, Eastman says the material offers an overall smaller environmental footprint, requiring less energy to produce, less energy to process (lower preform reheat temperatures), and potentially less material needed for packaging items like bottles and clamshells.
Using its IntegRex production technology, which eliminates solid stating, to create a spherical versus cylindrical pellet, Eastman says its ParaStar also reduces acetaldehyde levels 25% and offers high clarity. Due to its structure, the company felt there was potential for downgauging, but didnt offer specific figures. Given the wholly different manufacturing nature, company officials said efforts to switch existing PET resin capacity would require ground up facilities.
Scheduled to start up at the beginning of 2007, PET manufacturer DAK Americas (Chadds Ford, PA) announced plans to add just over 200,000 tonnes (450-million-lb) capacity at its Cape Fear, NC plant, giving the company roughly 500,000 tonnes (1.1 billion lb) North American capacity. That plant was also to use a proprietary melt-phase technology that eliminates the solid-stating phase for PET production, simplifies crystallization, and allows a broad range of products (MPW First Look September 2005).—[email protected]