YXY Technology

The YXY technology helps us produce a wide range of novel 100% bio-based materials and products by converting plant-based sugars (fructose) into plant-based chemicals and plastics, such as polyethylene furanoate (PEF).

PEF is a 100% bio-based and recyclable polymer with wide range of applications – packaging, textiles, film, and many more. It shows improved barrier properties for carbon dioxide 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, that added functionality gives PEF all the attributes required to become the next-generation polyester, superior to the conventional PET.

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 its 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.

From pilot plant to flagship plant
Avantium has successfully demonstrated its YXY Technology at its pilot plant in Geleen, the Netherlands. We are now ready for scaling up to a flagship plant, which is slated to start-up in 2023.

Superior barrier properties:

  • PEF’s oxygen barrier is 10 times better than PET

  • PEF’s carbon dioxide 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 of PEF is 86°C compared to the Tg of PET of 74°C

  • The Tm of PEF is 235°C compared to the Tm of PET of 265°C

(Tg – glass transition temperature)

(Tm – melting point)