MOSCOW (MRC) -- US Origin Materials and Dutch renewable chemical company Avantium will partner to accelerate the mass production of furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA) and polyethylene furanoate (PEF) for use in advanced chemicals and plastics, the companies said.
Plant-based FDCA is a building block for many chemicals and plastics, including PEF. PEF is a polyester of similar properties to polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and has an attractive combination of sustainability and performance characteristics for packaging including enhanced barrier properties.
It has a higher gas barrier against oxygen, CO2 and water vapour, eliminating the need for most of the multilayers used in PET bottles. The partnership will use the technologies of both companies to produce FDCA from sustainable wood residues on an industrial scale.
Origin Materials uses a process that converts biomass into paraxylene (PX) and makes 5-chloromethyl-furfural (CMF), the intermediate it uses to make PX. Avantium uses its YXY Process that converts plant-based sugars into FDCA. “Bridging these two complementary technologies creates a route that can convert sustainable wood residues via CMF into FDCA,” the companies said.
The produced PEF is expected to be 100% plant-based, fully recyclable, have attractive unit economics, and to offer a significantly reduced carbon footprint, with superior strength, thermal properties, and barrier properties compared to today’s widely used petroleum-based materials.
The partnership includes a licensing agreement providing Origin with access to relevant parts of Avantium’s process technology for producing FDCA from Origin’s CMF derivatives at a 100,000 tonnes/year scale facility and a conditional offtake agreement under which Avantium will supply Origin Materials with FDCA and PEF from its plants to accelerate market development.
We remind, Origin Materials has mechanically completed its first commercial-scale plant that will convert biomass into chemicals that can be used to make paraxylene (PX), one of the monomers used to make polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Commissioning work should finish at the end of the first quarter, with start-up beginning soon afterwards, Origin said. The plant is in Sarnia, Ontario province, in Canada, and will be able to process 25,000 dry metric tonnes (dmt)/year of biomass.