Avantium has announced that it has secured €36 million from the private sector to build a plant for the commercial production of the bioplastic polyethylene furanoate (PEF).
This has been developed by the Dutch firm, and is principally being marketed as a replacement for PET in packaging and other applications. The consortium that is pledging the €36 million represents a number of high-profile companies that are interested in the potential of PEF. The members are Coca-Cola, Danone, Alpla and Swire Pacific; they will join a series of venture capital firms that have already invested in Avantium.
Speaking on 5 June, Tom van Aken, CEO of Avantium, says: 'Today we made a huge step towards the first commercial-scale plant for PEF. This investment makes it possible for us to complete the industrial validation of PEF, and finalise the engineering and design of the first commercial-scale plant.
'It is really special that iconic players in the food and beverage industry invest in a technology partner like Avantium. That gives us a common goal: make 100% bio-based plastic bottles for their products. Together we believe that PEF is the packaging material of the future.'
Produced using Avantium's own Yxy technology, PEF is made from 100% bio feedstocks and is fully recyclable. Its production is currently limited to 20 tonnes per year from Avantium's pilot production line at Geleen in the Netherlands.
The new facility is expected to be in operation by 2017 and will produce 50 million kilograms per year. This will allow packaging designers to run more extensive tests on using the material. Another priority for Avantium is to find a new second-generation feedstock for making the plastic.
This article comes from Food Contact World, which provides exclusive news and analysis on developments in food contact material , markets, and technologies.
Get a sample issue of Food Contact World