Avantium teams up with Origin Materials to accelerate bioplastics mass production

NETHERLANDS – Avantium is partnering with US-based sustainable materials company Origin Materials to accelerate the mass production of furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA) and (polyethylene furanoate) PEF for use in advanced chemicals and plastics.

The partnership aims to bring together the strengths of Origin’s patented carbon-negative technology platform with Avantium’s YXY Technology.

Origin Materials’ patented technology platform takes carbon from sustainable wood residues and turns it into building block chemicals such as CMF.

Within the collaboration, Avantium’s proprietary YXY Technology will convert this CMF and similar plant-based sugars into FDCA, which can then be used to produce PEF.

As a biopolymer, PEF is a plant-based plastic that is thought to offer the same functions as conventional plastics alongside 100% recyclability and a reduced carbon footprint. It is currently utilized in packaging, fibers, textiles, and more.

Tom van Aken, chief executive officer at Avantium said: “We are excited to enter into this strategic partnership with Origin Materials, a like-minded partner committed to revolutionizing the chemical and plastics industry.

“The technologies of both companies are highly complementary and will also enable the use of non-edible, renewable feedstocks for the production of FDCA and PEF, meeting the expectations of brand owners and consumers worldwide.

Avantium’s commercial-scale FDCA Flagship Plant – apparently the first plant of its kind and expected to produce 100 kilotonnes per annum – is currently under construction in Delfzijl, the Netherlands.

The company has also signed offtake agreements with such companies as Carlsberg, LVMH, and AmBev for the supply of FDCA and PEF.

Meanwhile, Origin Materials has completed the construction of its first commercial manufacturing plant, Origin 1, in Canada.

It is hoped that the plant – which already claims to have signed capacity reservations and offtake agreements with brand owners – will serve as the first step in the production of high-performance products for the packaging, textiles, apparel, and automotive sectors, amongst others.

A non-exclusive industrial technology license agreement has also been signed, giving Origin Materials access to the relevant parts of Avantium’s process technology at its scale facility to convert its CMF derivatives into FDCA.

In addition, Avantium will execute a development program to establish a bridge between the companies’ technologies, with Origin Materials expecting to incorporate Avantium’s process technology into the supply chain of its future plants.

The partners have also entered into a conditional offtake agreement wherein Avantium will sell FDCA and PEF to Origin Materials – from its FDCA pilot plant in Geleen, the Netherlands, in 2023 and from the Delfzijl plant when it is expected to commence its commercial operations in 2024.

Origin is set to purchase a gradually increasing minimum annual volume of FDCA on a take-or-pay basis, which could enable Origin to accelerate the market adoption of FDCA and PEF.

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