Synthesis of Biobased and Substituted Terephthalic Acids and Isophthalic Acids


Executive Summary


Market and societal pressures are encouraging widespread utilization of biobased plastics. Many chemicals needed to make plastics, particularly PET, are derived from petroleum. This technology allows for the production of these necessary chemicals from either natural gas or renewable feedstocks.   


Description of Technology


This technology provides a route for the synthesis of terephthalic acid and isophthalic acid, both components of poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) plastics, from shell gas derived or renewable feedstocks. Newly developed shell gas derived- or biobased- acrylic acid and isoprene react to produce terephthalic acid and isophthalic acid. When these products are combined with biobased ethylene glycol, the process enables the manufacture of up to 100% renewable PET plastics, and also provides performance enhancing additives in polymer applications, while lowering dependence on petroleum. 


Key Benefits

  • Natural gas or renewable feedstocks
  • Plastics from 100% renewable sources
  • Enables access to inexpensive or renewable sources of conventional performance-enhancing additives



  • Biobased packaging
  • Plastic performance enhancing chemicals


Patent Status:   

Patent: US 9,499,465


Licensing Rights Available

 Exclusive rights available.



ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering Paper



Dr. John Frost


Tech ID:

TEC2013-0094, TEC2014-0091


Patent Information:

For Information, Contact:

Jon Debling
Technology Manager
Michigan State University
John Frost