Avantium NV, the Amsterdam-based biotechnology company, has revealed its plans to commercialize its YXY technology to formulate 100 percent renewable and entirely recyclable polyethylene furanoate (PEF) polymers. The company, at a “technology and markets day” event held on 6th June, mentioned that it has revised its scale-up policy following the acquisition of the Synvina bioplastics operations from BASF SE earlier this year. Synvina was founded in 2016 to supplement the commercialization of the YXY technology to manufacture PEF-building block FDCA; however, BASF ended its partnership due to disputes relating to the implementation of the terms of the agreement. Avantium has said that it intends to build a cash-flow positive flagship facility with a planned yearly capacity of 5 kilotons per annum (ktpa) of PEF AND FDCA.
The unit will manufacture the products for high-end markets and performance applications like in specialty bottles and high-barrier films. The company has mentioned that it will retain control over the flagship and licensing activities of YXY while establishing a network of committed partners across the value chain. Worley, the engineering company, has already started working on the design of the facility that is chalked down to start operations in the year 2023. The company will unveil the final site for the plant and will also make decisions for the construction of the facility by the end of this year. Avantium has also mentioned that it has renamed the Synvina business unit to Avantium Renewable Polymers, which will operate under the Avantium brand. The technology can convert plant-based sugars into a series of chemicals and plastics like PEF.
Avantium expects that in the coming years, with the revised scale-up, PEF will give tough competition to other solutions in the high-volume applications such as bottles for carbonated soft drinks and other beverages. The company also added that the revised scale-up and market launch strategy caters to both the market and capital requisites.