It has been awhile since the blog had an update from Avantium. The company announced last week its joint development agreement with major plastic converter ALPLA Werke Lehner GmbH for the development of PEF (polyethylene furanoate) bottles.
Avantium is expecting to bring 100% biobased PEF bottles to the market through its partnerships with Coca-Cola, Danone and now ALPLA by 2016. ALPLA will contribute its know-how in PET (polyethylene terephthalate) conversion, bottle design and bottle manufacturing.
Avantium is planning to combine its YXY molecule based on 2,5 furandicarboxylic (FDCA) with plant-based monoethylene glycol (MEG) to produce a 100% biobased PEF. The carbohydrate-based polymer is being touted as an alternative to PET.
Avantium noted that PEF even has properties superior to PET such as higher barrier to oxygen, carbon dioxide and water, extending product shelf life and reducing production costs. PEF is said to have carbon footprint that is 50-70% lower compared to today’s PET.
ALPLA plans to develop PEF bottles for personal care/home applications such as cosmetics and detergents, and for food applications such as sauces, dressings, baby foods and edible oils. ALPLA and Avantium will also work on developing PEF bottles for beer and other alcoholic beverages.
Avantium is currently supplying its development partners PEF from its 40 tonnes/year pilot plant in Geleen, the Netherlands. Avantium plans to start commercial production of FDCA and PEF in 2016 through a 50,000 tons/year plant although the company did not indicate where it will be located.
Last year, Avantium has partnered with Danone’s research organization to jointly develop recyclable PEF bottles for Danone’s global bottled water business. In late 2011, Avantium has also partnered with Coca-Cola.