Mercurius Biorefining, UC Davis develop FDCA production process

By Mercurius Biorefining | October 06, 2016

Mercurius Biorefining has furthered its partnership with the University of California, Davis to develop first-of-its-kind technology for production of furan-2,5- dicarboxylic acid (FDCA). While current approaches to the commercialization of FDCA use fructose as a feedstock, the Mercurius-UC Davis process operates from raw biomass. This new technology does not compete with food sources, and estimates show that it will be lower in cost than competing processes.

The FDCA molecule is a key component of PEF (polyethylene furanoate), a recyclable polymer with a wide range of applications including fibers and plastic containers. PEF is a promising replacement for PET (polyethylene terephthalate), a widely used polymer for consumer products signified by the plastics recycling code “1.”

Karl Seck, president of Mercurius Biorefining, said, “We are thrilled to work with UC Davis to develop this technology, further supporting production of biomaterials and realization of the circular carbon economy.”

Mark Mascal, professor of chemistry at UC Davis, commented, “We look very much forward to partnering with Mercurius Biorefining on the commercialization of this process, which will provide a value stream to support the development of the REACH biofuel technology.”

Mercurius Biorefining continues to develop the proprietary REACH technology at its pilot facility in Maine, converting cellulosic waste feedstock (e.g. organic portion of MSW, agriculture and forestry wastes) into a wide range of products such as drop-in, renewable diesel and aviation fuel. With funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, Mercurius’ current project partners include the University of Maine and the Purdue University.