Japanese researchers report biobased FDCA breakthrough

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In Japan, researchers have developed a method to produce bioplastic precursor furan-2.5-dicarboxylic acid from plant cellulose at high yield.

FDCA can be used to replace the petrochemical terephthalic acid in plastic bottle applications.

Hokkaido University Associate Professor Kiyotaka Nakajima and Professor Emiel J.M. Hensen at Eindhoven University of Technology led the study. Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation also participated.

The key was suppressing side reactions and byproducts. “It is significant that our method can reduce the total energy consumption required for complex work-up processes to isolate the reaction product,” Nakajima said.

The study was supported by Japan’s Advanced Low Carbon Technology Research and Development Program and published in a recent issue of Angewandte Chemie International Edition.