Canadian Biomass Magazine

Origin Materials starts up world’s first commercial CMF plant in Sarnia, Ont.

June 27, 2023
By Origin Materials

Origin 1 Construction Update, November 2022/Vimeo.

Origin Materials, Inc. has begun startup of Origin 1, the world’s first commercial CMF plant, located in Sarnia, Ont., in-line with prior guidance.

“Yesterday we initiated startup at Origin 1, a tremendous accomplishment and milestone in our journey to decarbonize the world’s materials,” said John Bissell, co-founder and co-CEO of Origin Materials. “This plant substantially scales up our revolutionary core technology platform. We expect the power of our platform intermediates, CMF and HTC, to be transformative for the chemical industry and how the world generally makes things.”

The new plant will supply industry with intermediate chemicals and materials that can be used across a wide range of end markets, including clothing, textiles, plastics, packaging, car parts, tires, carpeting, toys, fuels, and more with a ~$1 trillion addressable market. The plant represents a significant scale-up of Origin’s technology platform for converting sustainable wood residues into versatile intermediate chemicals.

CMF (chloromethyl furfural) is a versatile chemical building-block that can be used to make numerous downstream products, including para-xylene, which is the precursor to PET plastic, and FDCA (furandicarboxylic acid), which can be used in numerous sustainable products and materials such as the next-gen polymer PEF (polyethylene furanoate). The plant will also produce HTC (hydrothermal carbon), whose applications include sustainable carbon black for automotive tires.

“We are thrilled to be making our intermediates available to industry on a scale never before achieved,” said Bissell. “The commercialization of a molecule like CMF is historic, on the order of an ethylene. After working with CMF for over a decade at pilot scale, we couldn’t be more excited to begin commercial production here in Sarnia.”

Origin 1 will be operated to optimally fulfill customer demand around qualification and sampling. The plant is expected to play a key role in the development of higher-value products and applications for CMF, HTC, and other co-products. These higher value products are expected to be produced and sold at world-scale from future plants, including Origin 2, Origin 3, and potentially licensed plants.

“The startup of Origin 1 is a testament to the strength of our team in the face of pandemic and related supply-chain headwinds,” said Bissell. “We are excellently positioned to meet the massive customer demand for our renewable, carbon negative products, as we continue to execute on our mission to enable the world’s transition to sustainable materials.”

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