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Teijin licenses development of metal-free polyester fibres
Nov '08
Teijin Limited has begun licensing the development of products made with its PURITY polyester polymer, a product free of antimony and other heavy metals and made with a proprietary polymerization catalyst that Teijin developed in 2001.

Besides containing no heavy metals (defined by Teijin as elements with specific gravity of 5.0 or greater and subject to control under Japan's Pollutant Release and Transfer Register Regulation), PURITY polyester polymers offer appearance comparable to that of traditional polyester fibers created with heavy metals.

Last year, Teijin Fibers Limited began taking steps to license PURITY to environmentally conscious synthetic-fiber manufacturers and PET bottle resin manufacturers in Japan and abroad. The first technical license agreement was reached in July this year with one of Asia's largest manufacturers of polyester for the production of PET bottle resin. The two parties have also reached a basic license agreement for the production of fiber polymers.

In pursuit of further collaboration, they are now working on an OEM agreement for the production of PET bottle resin and polyester fiber consigned to the Teijin Group.

Teijin will now pursue PURITY® licensing agreements worldwide, focusing on widespread adoption of this low-impact technology by environmentally conscious manufacturers.

Polyester fibers in general do not contain harmful elements such as chlorine, nor do they generate dioxin and other substances when incinerated. They also can be recycled, making them especially green. Added to these qualities, PURITY® offers the following advantages:

- Created with a proprietary titanium polymer catalyst, making it free of heavy metals.
- Enables the same level of quality as that of products made from catalysts containing heavy or rare metals.
- Adds greater transparency to polyester products.
- Offers a film surface greater smoothness.
- When used for PET bottles, the flavor of content is less influenced because of the lower acetaldehyde compared to that of conventional products.

Heavy metals generally are highly toxic and place a great burden on the environment. The majority of heavy metals are controlled by Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR) Regulation, like other chemical elements and compounds that negatively affect the human body and the earth's ecosystem.

Teijin selected titanium, which is not controlled by PRTR Regulation, for the polyester polymerization catalyst used to create PURITY. Titanium, the seventh most abundant element on earth, is used in dental treatments and cosmetics because of its low impact on the human body, as well as the earth's ecosystem.

Disposal of titanium by burning does not produce toxic substances. Titanium is available in stable supply and at reasonable cost, and it is safe. Clearly, it is the best catalyst for polymerization.

The Teijin Group now plans to expand licensed production in Asia, Europe and North America, aiming at PURITY® accounting for 10% of global polyester consumption by 2015. Global polyester consumption currently stands at 68 million tons per year, according to PCI Xylenes & Polyester's World Supply & Demand Report.

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