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lunes, 9 de octubre de 2017

Origin Materials will validate the FDCA production process from Eastman in Sarnia



After the last post about the advancements of VTT on bioplastics field (muconic acid and furan derivatives from aldaric acids), I bring another recent movement with regard to 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA). Late last month, Eastman Chemical Company and Origin Materials (formerly known as Micromidas) entered into a non-exclusive agreement for Eastman to license its proprietary FDCA and FDCA derivatives production technology from renewable resources to Origin Materials (press release, 25/09/2017).

Eastman has developed a process for economically competitive conversion of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (5-HMF) and its derivatives to crude FDCA, polymer grade FDCA and polymer grade dimethylfuran-2,5-dicarboxylate (DMF). The acquisition of this technology will enable Origin Materials to produce FDCA monomer, which can then be used by its customers to manufacture polyethylene furanoate (PEF) bottles and films.

Eastman technology:
Process
Oxidation of 5-HMF in the presence of oxygen, a saturated organic acid solvent and a catalyst system to produce FDCA.
Starting point
5-HMF, 5-HMF esters, 5-HMF ethers and 5-alkyl furfurals.
Oxidant agent
O2.
Key intermediate
5-formyl furan-2-carboxyic acid (FFCA).
Solvent
Aqueous acetic acid solution.
Catalyst system
Co/Mn/Br.

Origin Materials is also working to develop and launch at commercial scale polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottle made from 100% sustainable and renewable resources (see post about the formation of the NaturALL Bottle Alliance with Danone and Nestlé Waters in March of this year).

In order to demonstrate both process technologies, Origin Materials has purchased an oxidation pilot plant from Eastman. The facility for biobased terephthalic acid (bio-PTA) and FDCA production will be located at the Western Sarnia-Lambton Research Park (press release, 26/09/2017).

Figure 1. Commercialization Centre at Western Sarnia-Lambton Research Park (extracted from the web page or the park). The project to relocate and validate the bio-PTA and FDCA production pilot plant is being supported by BIC through its COMM SCI initiative.

The whole project will include the relocation, commissioning and process validation of the pilot plant. This 6 M$ project is being supported by Bioindustrial Innovation Canada (BIC) through its COMM SCI (Centre for Commercialization of Sustainable Chemistry Innovation) initiative with its partners Lambton College and the Western Sarnia-Lambton Research Park. BIC will provide advice, services and financial support for the removal of technical and market application barriers to commercialization of bio-PTA and FDCA to enable commercial production of bio-PET and PEF.

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