AMSTERDAM AND WEST SACRAMENTO – California-based Origin Materials is partnering with Dutch company Avantium to accelerate the development of alternatives to fossil-based chemicals and plastics, including synthetic fibres.
Specifically, the companies aim to accelerate the mass production of FDCA (furandicarboxylic acid) as the key building block for PEF (polyethylene furanoate).
PEF is a 100% plant-based recyclable and degradable plastic with superior performance properties to a number of today’s widely used petroleum-based materials
Avantium’s YXY plant-to-plastics technology catalytically converts plant-based sugars into FDCA. The company has successfully demonstrated the technology at its pilot plant in Geleen, the Netherlands, and started construction of the world’s first commercial plant for FDCA in 2022, with large-scale production of PEF scheduled for 2024.
Origin has developed and patented a carbon-negative technology platform, which turns the carbon found in sustainable wood residues into useful materials including CMF (chloromethylfurfural).
Avantium’s YXY Technology can be used to convert derivatives of Origin’s CMF into FDCA at attractive unit economics.
As such, the partnership represents a potential breakthrough in the commercialisation of cost-competitive and low-carbon PEF.
“We are excited to partner with Avantium on a project with far-reaching impact,” said John Bissell, Origin co-founder and co-chief executive officer. “Together we aim to bring the value of FDCA and one of its main applications, PEF, to the industry at large and drive decarbonisation throughout the supply chain.”
“The technologies of both companies are highly complementary and will also enable the use of non-edible, renewable feedstocks for the production of FDCA and PEF, meeting the expectations of brand owners and consumers worldwide,” added Tom van Aken, CEO of Avantium. This supplements the feedstock options for our technology.”
The partnership includes a licensing agreement providing Origin with access to relevant parts of Avantium’s process technology at a 100,000 tons per annum scale facility and a conditional offtake agreement under which Avantium will supply Origin with FDCA and PEF from its plants to accelerate market development.
Under the terms of the transaction, Avantium received an upfront payment of €5 million in 2022 and, as a result of signing the licensing agreement, will receive an additional payment of €7.5 million. It may receive additional payments depending on the achievement of certain development milestones.