Rebiolution stands for ‘Novel biodegradable, REcyclable, BIO-based and safe plastic polymers with enhanced circuLar properties for food packaging and agricUltural applicaTIONs’. This three-year international programme accordingly aims to design and synthesise biobased and biodegradable polyester blends based on FDCA (furanic carboxylic acid) and other biobased monomers, for use in food packaging and agricultural films.
Alternative to PE and PBAT
Under the Rebiolution programme, Avantium will supply several hundred kilograms of FDCA for the development and production of a biodegradable and compostable polyester blend. The intention is to use the resulting bioplastic Rebiolution as a plastic coating for food packaging (paper/plastic composites), as an alternative to the fossil-based polyethylene (PE). Another intended application the use in mulch film for agricultural applications. As such, this new polyester could be a fully biobased alternative to the widely used PBAT (butylene adipate coterephthalate), which is partly fossil-based.
Avantium has developed the YXY® Technology that converts plant-based sugars into FDCA, which can be polymerised with plant-based monoethylene glycol (MEG) to produce the sustainable plastic PEF (polyethylene furanoate).
As a monomer, FDCA offers the ability to make a variety of polymers, from polyesters, polyamides and polyurethanes to coating resins, plasticisers and other chemicals. Avantium is currently building the world’s first commercial FDCA plant in Delfzijl, the Netherlands, with a capacity of 5,000 tonnes per year. The plant will open in 2024.
FDCA was listed in 2004 by the US Department of Energy as the number two in the top 12 priority chemicals for establishing the green chemistry industry of the future.
For more information, visit Avantium’s website.
Image: much film (Natalia Garidueva/Shutterstock)