From lignocellulose to PEF by Ed de Jong

Leading research group in the Netherlands with 3 main focuses: furan platform, isohexide platform and sugar biotechnology platform.

10th International Conference on Bio-bases Marerials – Köln, Germany- May 10-11, 2017

YXY technology (fructose to FDCA to PEF) development phase is complete and it is now being industrialized with BASF as partner into their JV “SYNVINA”.  En route to commercial scale with an intended 50kt annual capacity plant supposed to be build at BASF’s “Verbund” site in Antwerp. Licenses will be granted to project holders of further bigger size industrial plants.

Avantium also worked on extracting glucose from biomass using its Zambezi lignocellulosic biomass fractionation technology. The glucose can then be used to make FDCA monomer then fully bio-based PEF combining FDCA with MEKONG MEG. The Zambezi process is an improved “Bergius Rheinau” process. Process flow indicates a simulated moving bed process. It is expected to enter commercial stage after 2020. The MEKONG MEG process is a hydrogenolysis process converted 1 molecule of glucose into 3 molecules of ethyleneglycol. The Technology acquired with LiquidLight USA and now part of the VOLTA program is a biomimetic one converting CO2 into oxalic acid through Electrochemistry. Then Oxalic acid can ultimately be converted into MEG but Avantium believes that electromechanical production of MEG offers real opportunities once this technology has matured.

Performance benefits of PEF versus PET are reemphasized. Especially for small (25cl to 33cl) plastic bottles for carbonated beverages thanks to its enhanced barrier. PEF to rPEF recycling is similar to PET to rPET recycling. Limited quantities of PEF can reportedly be recycled with the PET stream into rPET over a transition period. It can be separated from PET by IR to follow its own recycling stream into rPEF at a later stage of market development.

No cost/ price projections for commercial PEF were presented.