For this development, Avantium has launched a PEF pilot plant in Geleen, the Netherlands in December 2011 to begin its YXY process on a large scale. The pilot plant with a 40 t annual production capacity manufactures PEF for application development.
The partnership with Coca-Cola is important for Avantium to ramp mass production of biobased PEF bottles. Avantium is also working closely with other major brand owners for the development of PEF-based films, fibers and bottles.
Other major partners are expected to join in the co-development work from the beginning of 2012. Avantium’s long-term strategy is to license its proprietary YXY technology for the mass production and utilization of its PEF material globally.
Any biomass comprising carbohydrates, including grains, plants, agricultural residues and sugarcane can be used as feedstock for the production of PEF material. Various bioplastics can be produced from these carbohydrates by utilizing the YXY technology as a chemical-catalytic technology.
Tom van Aken, who serves as the Chief Executive Officer at Avantium, stated that PEF is a 100% biobased and recyclable material. With its YXY technology, the company has produced bottles having superior thermal and barrier properties.
The company’s production method is suitable for the current supply chains and it intends to start commercial manufacturing of its biobased PEF material within three to four years, he added. The company hopes that its PEF meets the specifications to become a future-generation biobased plastic material for applications such as beverages, food and much more, he said.