Avantium and Wifag-Polytype Group agreed to collaborate on thermoformed products based from 100% polyethylene furanoate (PEF), a novel polymer produced by Avantium’s proprietary YXY technology — the brand name for Avantium’s technology platform that catalytically convert plant-based carbohydrates into chemical building blocks like furanics and levulinics.
One of the current focus of the platform is production of a building block called 2,5 furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA), which if polymerized together with ethylene glycol forms PEF. The polymer is also being developed as an alternative to polyethylene terephthalate (PET).
According to Avantium, the partnership with Wifag-Polytype will enable the use of PEF in novel application area of thermoformed cups, containers and trays, which are used today for the packaging of food products. Because of PEF’s higher oxygen barrier, PEF could reportedly extend the shelf life of perishable goods like meats or cheeses. The high thermal stability of PEF compared to PET could also enable packaging opportunities for microwaveable products.
Avantium noted that thermoforming could be a potential outlet for recycled PEF, providing an additional end-of-life solution for PEF bottles.