By Cameron Chai
Avantium, a technology company, has signed a joint development agreement Danone Research, a food company, for next-generation bio-based polyethylene-furanoate (PEF) bottles.
Under the terms of the agreement, Avantium's YXY technology, an efficient and rapid and chemical-catalytic technology, will be utilized to produce plastic bottles for the packaging industry. The main goal of both the companies is to develop a new renewable material that does not compete with food. The YXY technology is used to convert carbohydrates that are produced from plants, agricultural residues, waste paper, waste streams, lignocellulosic matter, energy crops and grains into several bio-based plastic materials.
Tom van Aken, CEO of Avantium, stated that the partnership with Danone Research represents a major step towards commercialization of PEF bottles. Their YXY technology produces a new bio-based material with excellent functional properties, such as thermal and barrier properties, when compared to conventional PET technology, added Tom van Aken. The company believes that PEF is an ideal replacement for PET due to its reduced carbon footprint and process economics. According to Copernic Institute’s research, PEF polyester material contains a lower carbon footprint than PET materials and the value ranges from 50% to 60%.
Recently, Avantium has opened a pilot manufacturing facility in Geleen, the Netherlands, which will have a production capacity of 40 tons of PEF. The alliances with Coca-Cola and Danone have enabled Avantium to smoothly transfer to large-scale production of PET bottles. In addition, the company is negotiating with several other major companies to produce PEF films, fibers and bottles. Avantium has also planned to license its technology for world-class, large-scale production and application of bio-based renewable polymer materials.