The PEFerence consortium, led by Avantium Renewable Polymers, hopes to convert FDCA into polyethylene furanoate, a recyclable bioplastic with better barrier properties than the incumbent material, polyethylene terephthalate.
The grant “supports the establishment of an innovative value chain for the use of plant-based FDCA and PEF and represents a significant step to cover the funding requirement for the flagship plant for FDCA,” Marcel Lubben, Managing Director of Avantium Renewable Polymers, told a contributor at labiotech.eu. Avantium aims to build an FDCA plant with the capacity to produce 5,000 metric tons per year. It estimates it will need €150 million to complete the project, and hopes to have funding in place by the end of next year and start operations in 2023.
“We believe that PEF has the potential to be game-changing, since it is a 100% plant-based, circular performance plastic,” Lubben adds.
The grant is part of the Horizon 2020 funding from the Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking. LEGO is also a member of the PEFerence Consortium.