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The Sleeping Giant Awakens: 2,5-Furandicarboxylic Acid

  • Michael Saltzberg, DuPont Industrial Biosciences,
  • Marc den Hartog, Corbion,
  • Patrick Schiffers, Synvina,
  • Celene DiFrancia, Origin Materials

Michael Saltzberg, Global Business Director, Biomaterials, DuPont

DuPont Industrial Biosciences (DuPont) and Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) have opened the world’s first bio-based furan dicarboxylic methyl ester (FDME) pilot production facility in Decatur, Illinois. This plant is the centerpiece of a long-standing partnership that will help bring a greater variety of higher performance, sustainably-sourced biomaterials into the lives of consumers including new bio-based plastic packaging materials. Combining their respective expertise in chemistry, biomaterials, and agricultural value chains, industry leaders DuPont and ADM have developed an innovative and efficient process for turning fructose from corn starch into a molecule called furan dicarboxylic methyl ester, or FDME. FDME can be used to create a variety of bio-based chemicals and materials, including plastics, that are ultimately more cost-effective, efficient and sustainable than their fossil fuel-based counterparts. This talk will update the status of the joint ADM-DuPont commercialization efforts on FDME as well as progress made at DuPont on producing high quality polyethylene furanoate (PEF) and polytrimethylene furanoate (PTF) plastics for packaging applications from FDME.

Marc den Hartog, Executive Vice President, Biobased Innovations, Corbion

Corbion builds Innovation Platforms such as the leading Algae Ingredient Platform that enables production of sustainable oils, fatty acids and proteins. In the material side, Corbion and TOTAL have entered a joint-venture to accelerate growth and market development for Poly Lactic Acid (PLA) bioplastics, where the construction of a 75,000 metric tons PLA production plant in Thailand nears completion. The presentation will talk about Corbion’s development program for FDCA, a bio-based building block with the potential to replace purified terephthalic acid (PTA) in a variety of applications, including coatings, performance plastics and packaging materials. Corbion developed proprietary process to produce 2,5-Furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA) from renewable resources. The unique biocatalytic process converts FDCA from HMF with high conversion yields and selectivity. We will share the progress we are making and explain how important partnerships are in further scale up and commercialization.

Patrick Schiffers, CEO, Synvina

Synvina, a Joint Venture of Avantium and BASF, produces and markets FDCA (furandicarboxylic acid) and furthermore markets PEF (polyethylenefuranoate). Synvina aims to become market leader for FDCA and PEF and to realize this ambition intends to construct a reference plant at the BASF Verbund site in Antwerp, Belgium, with a capacity of up to 50,000 metric tons of FDCA per year. PEF is a 100% bio-based and recyclable polymer which can be used for a wide variety of packaging applications. This polyester is in many ways similar to PET and fits well with existing PET production, processing and recycling equipment. On the other hand, the material is new, and has significantly improved properties over PET and other packaging materials: compared to conventional PET, PEF can extend product shelf life, also under warm and humid storage conditions, reduce the packaging weight, be recycled in a similar way to PEF and remove additional barrier materials. This opens up new packaging opportunities where plastics are sparsely used today. Synvina’s pilot plant in Geleen, The Netherlands, has been producing FDCA using the YXY® process developed by Avantium since 2011, giving Synvina and its partners ample know-how and experience in effective high quality PEF production as well as its various end-use applications, such as bottles, films and fibers.

Celene DiFrancia, Head of Products, Origin Materials

Furan Chemistry: challenges and opportunities for commercializing a new platform for the chemical industry will be discussed. Origin Materials, a California-based chemical company, has developed a new chemical platform that converts diverse biofeedstocks into four furan-based building-block intermediates, one of which enables FDCA. Bringing a new, valuable opportunity set to market comes with challenges, including 1) bio-industry specific hurdles, 2) execution timelines for new product introduction, 3) adoption of both existing and new products, and 4) growth and expansion challenges associated with new business creation. The central question is how to navigate the tension between the momentum of creating new business opportunities, and the planning and execution required for success. Origin's answer to this question is captured by our business model and the various points of market entry associated with identifying the most synergistic partnerships.

  • Date:Tuesday, July 17
  • Time:8:30 AM - 9:45 AM
  • Location:204 A
  • Session Type:Breakout Session
  • BIO Track:Renewable Chemicals and Biobased Products
Michael Saltzberg
DuPont Industrial Biosciences
Marc den Hartog
Patrick Schiffers
Celene DiFrancia
Origin Materials