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jueves, 3 de mayo de 2018

ADM and DuPont open a FDME pilot plant in Illinois

Type of post: NEWS IN BRIEF.

FDME (Furan Dicarboxylic Methyl Ester) is a new biobased chemical building block with potential to replace petroleum-based materials. Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) and DuPont Industrial Biosciences (DuPont) unveiled a breakthrough process to produce this molecule in 2016.
More details in this blog post: “FDME and PTF – Emerging stars on the bioplastics horizon”, 31/8/2017.

The companies aim to bring this game-changing technology to commercial scale as quickly as possible. As a relevant milestone to achieve that final goal, the companies have just announced the opening of the world’s first FDME pilot production facility in Decatur (Illinois, USA). The plant is the centerpiece of a long-standing collaboration that will help bring a greater variety of sustainably sourced biomaterials into the lives of consumers (see press release, 30/4/2018). According to previous information, the capacity of the plant is 60 ton/y.

Figure 1. FDME pilot plant (extracted from the press release)

One of the first FDME-based polymers under development by DuPont is polytrimethylene furandicarboxyate (PTF). Research shows that PTF has up to 10-15 times the CO2 barrier performance of traditional PET plastic. In this way, for packaging applications, it could be used to create plastic bottles that are lighter-weight, more sustainable and better performing.

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