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BASF and Avantium to produce FDCA and PEF to improve food packaging films and plastic bottles

By Jenny Eagle+

15-Mar-2016

BASF and Avantium to produce FDCA and PEF

BASF and Avantium have signed a letter of intent to establish a joint venture (JV) for the production and marketing of furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA) and polyethylenefuranoate (PEF).

The JV will use the YXY process developed by Avantium in its laboratories in Amsterdam and pilot plant in Geleen, Netherlands, for the production of FDCA, which is produced from renewable resources.

50,000 metric tons per year

It plans to further develop this process to construct a reference plant for the production of FDCA with an annual capacity of up to 50,000 metric tons per year at BASF’s Verbund site in Antwerp, Belgium.

The contemplated joint venture with BASF is a major milestone in the development and commercialization of this game-changing technology,” said Tom van Aken, CEO, Avantium.

The joint venture will further strengthen the global technology and establish the market leadership for FDCA and PEF.

With BASF, we plan to start production of FDCA to enable the first commercial launch of this exciting bio-based material and to further develop and grow the market to its full potential.”

The goal is to build up world-leading positions in FDCA and PEF, and subsequently license the technology for industrial scale application.

FDCA is the essential chemical building block for the production of PEF.

Improved barrier properties

Compared to conventional plastics, PEF is characterized by improved barrier properties for gases like carbon dioxide and oxygen. This can lead to longer shelf life of packaged products.

Due to its higher mechanical strength, thinner PEF packaging can be produced, resulting in less packaging material.

PEF is particularly suitable for the production of certain food and beverage packaging, for example films and plastic bottles and after use it can be recycled.

Avantium closed a $50m financial deal with a consortium including Swire Pacific, The Coca-Cola Company, DANONE, ALPLA, to launch a 100% bio-based bottle using PEF packaging material in 2014.

It was the first time brand owners such as The Coca-Cola Company and DANONE jointly invested in a project.

Follow on investments were made by existing shareholders Sofinnova Partners, Capricorn Venture Partners, ING Corporate Investments, Aescap Venture, Navitas Capital, Aster Capital and De Hoge Dennen Capital.

Avantium chemical technology develops processes and sustainable products made from biobased materials. One of its success stories is YXY technology, with which they created PEF: a high-quality plastic made from plant-based industrial sugars.

Ground-breaking projects

PEF is 100% recyclable. Avantium is also working on a host of other ground-breaking projects and is providing advanced catalysis research services and systems to chemical and petrochemical companies.

The BASF Group’s Intermediates division develops, produces and markets about 700 intermediates around the world.

Its most important product groups include amines, diols, polyalcohols, acids and specialties. Intermediates are used as starting materials for coatings, plastics, pharmaceuticals, textiles, detergents and crop protectants.

It has production sites in Europe, Asia and North America and generated sales to third parties of about €2.8bn in 2015.

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