ADM and DuPont announce bioplastics ‘breakthrough’

A renewable, bio-based polymer could offer exciting new options in beverage packaging, according to DuPont’s biosciences division and its R&D partner Archer Daniels Midland (ADM).

On 19 January, the two firms announced that its scientists have developed a method for fabricating furan dicarboxylic methyl ester (FDME) from fructose.

Simon Herriot, global business director for biomaterials at DuPont, says: ‘This molecule is a game-changing platform technology. It will enable cost-efficient production of a variety of 100% renewable, high-performance chemicals and polymers with applications across a broad range of industries.

‘ADM is an agribusiness powerhouse with strong technology development capabilities. They are the ideal partner with which to develop this new, renewable supply chain for FDME.’

Polymers fabricated from FDME are not only bio-based, but are also easy to recycle, and can exhibit high barrier properties. This will create opportunities in the food packaging segments, with DuPont and ADM identifying PET beverage bottles as one significant target.

This aligns with a wider interest in this segment in bio-based containers, where Coca-Cola has taken a lead with its PlantBottle initiative.

As a next step, ADM and DuPont are building a trial plant for turning fructose into FDME, with a capacity of 60 tonnes per year. This will be based at Decatur in the US state of Illinois, and be able to supply samples for future buyers to road test.

This article comes from Food Contact World, which provides exclusive news and analysis on developments in digital print trends, markets, and technologies.