Avantium and Origin Partner on PEF

27.02.2023 - Avantium is partnering with Origin Materials to accelerate the mass production of furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA) and plant-based, fully recyclable plastic, polyethylene furanoate (PEF).

The partnership will combine Avantium’s proprietary YXY process with Origin’s patented technology platform that turns carbon found in sustainable wood residues into building-block chemicals such as chloromethylfurfural (CMF), which can be used to make FDCA.

The company has already started to build a commercial-scale FDCA plant in Delfzijl, the Netherlands, while Origin reached mechanical completion this month on its first commercial manufacturing plant for CMF and derivatives in Sarnia, Canada, with start-up expected in the second quarter of 2023.   

Under their collaboration, Avantium has granted Origin a non-exclusive license to use certain parts of its YXY process – including certain patent rights – for enabling the conversion of CMF derivatives into FDCA at a 100,000 t/y plant. Avantium added that it will also develop a “bridge” between the companies’ respective technologies.

Origin paid Avantium €5 million upfront last year and will also pay a milestone fee of €7.5 million, as well as subsequent license fees upon achieving certain development milestones.

"The technologies of both companies are highly complementary and will also enable the use of non-edible, renewable feedstocks for the production of FDCA and PEF, meeting the expectations of brand owners and consumers worldwide,” said Avantium CEO Tom van Aken.

The partners have also entered into a conditional offtake agreement whereby Avantium will sell FDCA and PEF to Origin Materials from its FDCA pilot plant in Geleen, the Netherlands, in 2023 and from the Delfzjil plant once it goes into commercial operation in 2024.

Author: Elaine Burridge, Freelance Journalist