The market potential of FDCA

Thanks to its superior performance criteria, such as improved barrier properties and higher mechani­cal strength, FDCA is our main building block for producing bio-based products. It can be applied to a wide variety of industrial plastics, including bottles, textiles, food packaging, carpets, electronic materials and automotive applications.

Given the huge potential market and the global need to offer a sustain­able alternative to PET, we are focusing our efforts on PEF, which is an analog of poly­ethylene ter­ephthalate (PET).

Superior barrier properties:

  • PEF’s oxygen barrier is 10 times better than PET
  • PEF’s carbon dioxide barrier is 6 to 10 times better than PET
  • PEF’s water barrier is twice as good as PET’s

More attractive thermal properties:

  • The Tg of PEF is 86°C compared to the Tg of PET of 74°C
  • The Tm of PEF is 235°C compared to the Tm of PET of 265°C

(Tg – glass transition temperature)

(Tm – melting point)

FDCA and PEF in a nutshell

 

1.) What is FDCA and PEF?

FDCA (furandicarboxylic acid) is a 100% bio-based monomer and the essential chemical building block for the production of the polymer PEF (polyethylenefuranoate). PEF is a polyester based on FDCA and bio-MEG (ethylene-glycol). Synvina aims to become the market leader in the production and marketing of FDCA as well as the marketing of PEF.

2.) What are the application fields of FDCA and PEF?

FDCA is a platform chemical to produce polyamides for engineering plastics and fibers, to polyurethanes for foams, coatings and adhesives and to esters for personal care products and lubricants. Its most significant application is to produce the novel bio-plastic PEF, which is suitable for bottles, fibers, multiple film types including pouches, wrappers and shrink film.

 

3.) What are the advantages of PEF in the packaging industry?

For the packaging industry, PEF offers better characteristics in comparison to conventional plastics, such as improved barrier properties for gases like carbon dioxide and oxygen, leading to a longer shelf life of packaged products. It also offers a higher mechanical strength; thus, thinner PEF packaging can be produced and fewer resources are required. PEF is 100% bio-based and can be recycled. It thus can be fully integrated in the circular economy.

4.) Can PEF be recycled with PET?

Synvina has received an interim approval of the European PET bottle association to recycle its planned 50 000 t/a PEF together with PET in existing capabilities. Furthermore, if required, PEF can be separated easily from PET using existing IR equipment (infrared) for a dedicated recycling stream.

 

5.) How can I order FDCA and PEF from Synvina?

Synvina currently produces FDCA at pilot plant scale in order to further research on the applications and to sample selected customers. Synvina intends to build a 50,000t/a reference plant at the BASF Verbund site in Antwerp.