Canadian Biomass Magazine

Origin Materials, Avantium to accelerate bioplastics mass production

February 23, 2023
By Origin Materials

Strategic partnership will produce FDCA from Origin’s carbon-negative platform for producing chemical intermediates from sustainable wood residues and Avantium’s YXY Technology.

Origin Materials, Inc. and Avantium N.V. announced a partnership to accelerate the mass production of FDCA and PEF for use in advanced chemicals and plastics.

The partnership aims to bring together the strengths of Origin’s patented carbon-negative technology platform, which turns the carbon found in sustainable wood residues into useful materials including chloromethylfurfural (CMF), with Avantium’s YXY Technology, which can be used to convert derivatives of Origin’s CMF into FDCA, the chemical building block for the polymer PEF, at attractive unit economics.

The partnership represents a potential breakthrough in the commercialization of cost-competitive and low-carbon PEF, a polymer with an attractive combination of sustainability and performance characteristics for packaging including enhanced barrier properties. The produced PEF is expected to be 100 per cent plant-based, fully recyclable, have attractive unit economics, and to offer a significantly reduced carbon footprint, with superior strength, thermal properties, and barrier properties compared to today’s widely used petroleum-based materials.

“We are excited to partner with Avantium, a leading innovator and developer of sustainable chemistry, 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 to drive decarbonization throughout the supply chain. By combining Origin’s revolutionary platform, which can produce key FDCA precursors like CMF from sustainable wood residues, with Avantium’s YXY process technology, we aim to transform the polymers and materials industry. This partnership accelerates our efforts to bring economical non-food based FDCA and PEF to market.”

“We are excited to enter into this strategic partnership with Origin Materials, a leading sustainable materials company and like-minded partner committed to revolutionizing the chemical and plastics industry,” said Tom van Aken, CEO of Avantium. “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. This supplements the feedstock options for our technology. We look forward to working together on our shared ambition to transition the world to large-scale sustainable materials made from non-fossil resources.”

The partnership includes a licensing agreement providing Origin with access to relevant parts of Avantium’s process technology for producing FDCA from Origin’s CMF derivatives at a 100 metric kilotons per annum scale facility and a conditional offtake agreement under which Avantium will supply Origin Materials 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, and may receive additional payments depending on the achievement of certain development milestones. Origin expects to incorporate Avantium’s process technology into the supply chain for product from future plants.

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