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'The PEFerence-project is of great importance to us. We are in the process of opening up a market for a new plastic based on renewable feedstock. This is a major challenge, which requires a broad range of experience and expertise.'
Editorial office / Antwerp

For Patrick Schiffers, CEO of Synvina (joint-venture between BASF and Avantium), bringing PEF and its precursor FDCA to market, is a huge undertaking, especially for the ‘spring chicken’ Synvina.  ‘One company can hardly achieve this on its own. That’s why PEFerence is so important because it brings together key players along the whole value chain from raw material to end-product and recycling to achieve this. For Synvina’s endeavor to bring FDCA and PEF to the market, it is important to have these strong partners along the value chain in a regular dialog. PEFerence enables this.’

Production plant in Antwerp

The PEFerence project was established in the first half of 2017. As mentioned before, key value chain partners will work closely together to develop and commercialize key applications for a new plastic based on renewable feedstock PEF (polyethylenefuranoate) and its monomer FDCA (furandicarboxylic acid). Ultimately, the project should lead to the establishment of a 50.000 kT production plant on the BASF ‘Verbundsite’ in Antwerp.

PEF has several interesting applications, most notably in packaging of carbonated beverages due its superior barrier properties. Avantium has established various partnerships with companies in the PET-value chain, for example Danone, Alpla and Toyobo to develop a 100 percent biobased PEF-bottle. Also PEF can be used in other applications such as carpets or textiles.

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