Avantium, Danone sign partnership for next-gen bioplastic: PEF

By Avantium | March 22, 2012

Avantium announced March 22 its second major partnership for its YXY technology to produce PEF bottles. Danone Research and Avantium have entered into a joint development agreement for the development of PEF bottles for Danone, No. 2 worldwide in bottled water business. The agreement forms another cornerstone of Avantium's commercialization strategy to further co-develop the YXY technology for producing PEF bottles.

"The agreement with Danone Research is a fantastic step forward on our path to commercialize PEF bottles," said Avantium CEO Tom van Aken. “Today, Danone Research is at the forefront in contributing to the development of next-generation biobased plastic bottle. Our YXY solution for the packaging industry creates a new bio-sourced material delivering superior functional properties versus conventional PET technology (for example light weighting potential, barrier and thermal properties). We believe that the process economics and carbon footprint of PEF make it a suitable PET alternative.”

A recent study done by the Copernicus Institute at Utrecht University showed that PEF has a 50 to 60 percent lower carbon footprint than oil-based PET. Finalizing the LCA study is part of the JDA. Avantium is currently validating the use of existing supply and recycling chains, enabling a full transition to biobased PEF bottles in three to five years from now.

"Based on the YXY technology, the Avantium and Danone Research joint objective is to contribute to the emergence of a new renewable material generation which will not be in direct competition with food,” van Aken said.

YXY is used as a fast and efficient chemical-catalytic technology to convert carbohydrates produced from plants, grains, energy crops, lignocellulosic matter, waste streams, waste paper or agricultural residues, into a wide variety of bio-based polymers. Based on ongoing R&D programs, Avantium will also continue to develop PEF from renewable feedstock not competing with food.

Avantium has recently opened its pilot plant in Geleen, the Netherlands, with the capacity of producing 40 tons of PEF for application development. The collaborations with Danone and The Coca-Cola Company are key to secure a smooth transition into the mass production phase of PEF bottles. Avantium is in active discussion with other leading brand owners to develop PEF bottles, fibers and film. In the longer term Avantium will license its YXY technology to enable large scale, world-wide production and use of its biosourced plastic materials.