BASF and Avantium Establish Joint Venture
BASF, Ludwigshafen, Germany, and Avantium, Amsterdam, Netherlands, the renewable chemistry company, announced the formation of a joint venture (JV) for the production and marketing of furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA), which is produced from renewable resources, as well as the marketing of the new polymer polyethylenefuranoate (PEF) based on the new chemical building block FDCA.
The aim of the JV named Synvina with headquarters in Amsterdam, Netherlands, is to build up world-leading positions in FDCA and PEF. It is planned to invest a mid-three-digit million euro sum to build a reference plant with an annual capacity of up to 50,000 metric tons per year at BASF’s Verbund site in Antwerp, Belgium, and to license the technology for industrial scale production. For the production of FDCA, Synvina will use the YXY process developed by Avantium which is based on fructose as renewable raw material.
FDCA-Based PEF: Multiple Application Opportunities
Industry experts consider bio-based FDCA to be a promising platform chemical and a building block for various downstream products for different applications. Most significantly, FDCA is used for the production of PEF, a polyester suitable for food and beverage packaging as well as for fibers for carpets and textiles. For the packaging industry, PEF offers better characteristics in comparison to conventional plastics, such as improved barrier properties for gases like carbon dioxide and oxygen, leading to a longer shelf life of packaged products. It also offers a higher mechanical strength, thus thinner PEF packaging can be produced and fewer resources are required. PEF is suitable for foil pouches, bottles for carbonated and non-carbonated soft drinks, water, dairy products, still and sports drinks and alcoholic beverages as well as personal and home care products. Alongside the polyester PEF, FDCA can be processed to polyamides for engineering plastics and fibers, to polyurethanes for foams, coatings and adhesives and to esters for personal care products and lubricants.
Synvina will continue Avantium’s established partnering activities with leading brands associated with FDCA and PEF. The goal of the cooperation platform is to develop a complete supply chain for PEF as sustainable bio-based packaging material. Together with Toyobo, the companies will jointly boost the PEF polymerization and further develop PEF films for food packaging, in electronics applications such as displays or solar panels, industrial and medical packages. With Mitsui, Synvina will work on developing PEF thin films and PEF bottles in Japan. Furthermore, Synvina aims to continue the development partnerships with The Coca Cola Company, Danone, Alpla and other companies on the Joint Development Platform for PEF bottles.
Avantium Technologies B.V.
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