Industry News

Origin Materials and Avantium to Accelerate the Mass Production of FDCA and PEF for Advanced Chemicals and Plastics

by | Feb 23, 2023

Origin Materials, Inc., a leading carbon-negative materials enterprise and Avantium N.V., a pioneering technology business in renewable chemistry, have joined forces to speed up the large-scale production of FDCA and PEF for use in advanced chemicals and plastics (announced on 21 February).

They aim to combine the capabilities of Origin’s patented carbon-negative technology platform, which turns sustainable wood residue carbon into materials including chloromethyl furfural (CMF), with Avantium’s YXY® Technology, which can be utilized to convert CMF derivatives into FDCA, the building block for the polymer PEF.

This collaboration provides a potential milestone in the commercialization of cost-effective and low-carbon PEF, a polymer with a blend of sustainability and performance qualities for packaging, including improved barrier features. The manufactured PEF is forecast to be entirely plant-based, 100% recyclable, cost-effective, and has a significantly reduced carbon footprint, enhanced strength, thermal characteristics, and barrier capabilities compared to existing widely used petroleum-based materials, said Origin Materials in a press statement.

“We are excited to partner with Avantium, a leading innovator and developer of sustainable chemistry, on a project with far-reaching impact,” said John Bissell, Origin Co-Founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer. “Together, we aim to bring the value of FDCA and one of its main applications, PEF, to the industry at large and to drive decarbonization throughout the supply chain. By combining Origin’s revolutionary platform, which can produce key FDCA precursors like CMF from sustainable wood residues, with Avantium’s YXY® process technology, we aim to transform the polymers and materials industry. This partnership accelerates our efforts to bring economical non-food based FDCA and PEF to market.”

“We are excited to enter into this strategic partnership with Origin Materials, a leading sustainable materials company and like-minded partner committed to revolutionizing the chemical and plastics industry,” said Tom van Aken, CEO of Avantium. “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. This supplements the feedstock options for our technology. We look forward to working together on our shared ambition to transition the world to large-scale sustainable materials made from non-fossil resources.”

Origin and Avantium have entered a strategic partnership with a licensing agreement, granting Origin access to the relevant aspects of Avantium’s process technology. This will enable Origin to produce FDCA from its CMF derivatives at a 100 metric kilotons per annum scale facility. Furthermore, a conditional offtake agreement was agreed upon in which Avantium will supply Origin Materials with FDCA and PEF from its plants to accelerate market development.

Avantium received an initial payment of €5 million in 2022 under the terms of the transaction. It will also receive an additional €7.5 million following the licensing agreement and additional payments depending on the completion of specified development milestones. Origin intends to incorporate Avantium’s process technology into its supply chain for products from future plants.

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