FDCA and plantMEG™ together make a 100% plant-based plastic PEF
PEF is a 100% plant-based, recyclable and degradable polymer with a wide range of applications such as packaging, textiles, film, and many more. PEF has a powerful combination of environmental features and superior functionality. It shows improved barrier properties for carbon dioxide (CO2) and oxygen, leading to a longer shelf life of packaged products. It also offers higher mechanical strength, which means that thinner PEF packaging can be produced and fewer resources are required. In combination with the plant-based feedstock, these added functionalities give PEF all the attributes required to become the next-generation polyester.
Superior barrier properties:
- PEF’s oxygen barrier is 10 times better than PET
- PEF’s CO2 barrier is 6 to 10 times better than PET
- PEF’s water barrier is twice as good as PET’s
More attractive thermal properties:
- The Tg (glass transition temperature) of PEF is 86°C compared to the Tg of PET of 74°C
- The Tm (melting point) of PEF is 235°C compared to the Tm of PET of 265°C
Addressing the need for a circular new plastics economy
Reuse: Performance potential PEF in reuse under development
Recycle: PEF has a proven fit with existing sorting and recycling facilities and can substitute barrier materials and coatings in multi-layer packaging solutions which currently are challenging to recycle
Degradable: When PEF unintentionally ends up in nature, tests show that:
- Degradation tests show that PEF degrades much faster than PET under industrial composting conditions (250-400 days with air / oxygen @ 58°C in soil) (source: Accelerated study by OWS, Gent, Belgium (2019)
- Initial results from ongoing 10-year degradability field trial demonstrate that PEF degrades under ambient conditions (trial by Avantium and University of Amsterdam)
PEF as barrier layer providing performance and enabling recycling
Single layer bottles
Single layer PEF in small bottles for soft drinks, beer and juice, replacing glass bottles, aluminium cans and multilayer bottles, enabling closed-loop recycling
PEF film in recyclable flexible packaging or as film used in electronics applications (e.g. displays)
The main building block for PEF is furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA). Given the huge potential of FDCA, industrial production of this building block has been pursued and researched for over 100 years, without success. As such, FDCA has been called ‘the sleeping giant’. Avantium believes that our YXY® Technology can finally unlock the full potential of FDCA. The FDCA monomer offers exciting opportunities to create a wide range of polymers. These include polyesters, polyamides and polyurethanes, as well as coating resins, plasticizers and other chemical products.
PlantMEG™ is an important chemical building block for PET or PEF resin for bottles and packaging; fibers for apparel, furniture and automotive; and solvents (e.g. paint and coatings) and coolants.
The use of plantMEG™ will provide brands with a sustainable, recyclable, and innovative ingredient capable of attracting environmentally conscious consumers.
Favorable global MEG market dynamics
Projected to grow from 28 million tonnes to 35 million tonnes in 2035 with a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 3.5%
Significant CO2 reduction compared to fossil-MEG and independent from fossil feedstock
Best-in-class single step catalytic process making plantMEG™ cost competitive with chemical equivalence
Demonstration plant opened in 2019 with a clear path to scale-up and commercialisation