Corbion has developed a proprietary process to produce 2,5-Furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA) from renewable resources with a reduced carbon footprint. FDCA has the potential to replace purified terephthalic acid (PTA) in a variety of applications. For instance, FDCA can be polymerized into polyethylene furanoate (PEF) making use of existing polyester infrastructure. PEF gives improved finished product performance, due to better barrier, thermal and mechanical properties when compared to PET. At the same time, it improves packaging sustainability, since PEF produced from FDCA is 100% biobased when biobased monoethylene glycol (MEG) is used.
Drop-in and increased performance
FDCA is not a direct replacement for PTA, as PEF is not a direct replacement for PET since their chemical structures are slightly different. However, they are sufficiently similar to allow FDCA to be used in combination with MEG in existing PET polymerization plants , making FDCA an infrastructure drop-in. In a similar manner, PEF can also be used in downstream conversion plants, making it too an infrastructure drop-in. The improved properties of PEF compared to PET offer better performance in existing applications, such as in carbonated soft drink bottles. In addition, PEF opens the door to new applications where PET properties do not suffice, like in smaller serving sizes and light-weighting, and also for replacing other packaging materials like glass and aluminum cans.
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