The Great Future of Furanic Chemistry

2,5-Furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA), also known as dehydromucic acid, is an oxidized furan derivative. This organic compound was first obtained by Fittig and Heinzelmann in 1876. FDCA was more than 125 years later identified by the US Department of Energy ( DOE) as one of 12 priority chemicals for establishing the “green” chemistry industry of the future. Furan-2,5-dicarboxylic acid (FDCA) has been suggested as an important renewable building block because it can substitute for terephthalic acid (PTA) in the production of polyesters and other current polymers containing an aromatic moiety.

The production of  FDCA in 2013 was 40 tons with production on order basis primarily for scientific applications at Avantium  pilot plant commissioned in the second half of 2011.

The estimated market potential for FDCA is expected to reach USD 498.2 million by 2020, growing at a exponential CAGR of 367.0% from 2014 to 2020,according to a new study by Grand View Research, Inc.

Avantium’s FDCA commercial scale production facility using bio feedstock  is expected to come online by in 2016 – 17 with annual capacity reaching 50,000 metric tons per annum by 2017. FDCA is expected to have great potential as a replacement to other petroleum based chemicals such as adipic acid, terephthalic acid and bisphenol A. The addressable market for FDCA as of 2013 was in excess of 50 million tons with PET and PBT being the largest applications.

The market potential for FDCA is expected to reach 498.15 kilo tons by 2020, growing at a exponential CAGR of 367.0% from 2014 to 2020, owing to the projected commercial production of FDCA by Avantium in 2016 using bio feed stock.

Further Key findings from the study suggest:

  • Post commercialization, PET is expected to be the largest application segment for FDCA accounting for 64% of the global market in 2020. The growing demand for packaging material coupled with the need for bio based products is expected to greatly boost the demand for FDCA.
  • Polyamides are expected to be the second largest application segment in 2020 with a potential market for 80,000 tons. FDCA has the potential to replace adipic acid and its bio based alternative considering economic production by 2020.
  • A limited number of companies manufactured and supplied FDCA as of 2013 and primarily for scientific purpose. Avantium is expected to begin construction of its first commercial FDCA plant with 50 kilo ton capacity in 2015 and is expected to begin production by 2017.
  • Avantium has been a key participant inFDCA technology development, with partnerships and alliances with key application clients including The Coca-Cola Company, Danone, Teijin, Solvay and Rhodia.

For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global FDCA market on the basis of application:

FDCA Potential Application Outlook (Volume, Tons; Revenue, USD Million, 2012 – 2020)

  • PET
  • Polyamides
  • Polycarbonates
  • Plasticizers
  • Polyester Polyols
  • Others
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