In an article published on June 8, 2017 news provider Plastics News Europe (PNE) reported that the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI) has granted €25 million to a consortium of eleven companies called “PEFerence” working on polyethylenefuranoate (PEF, no CAS number available) applications. The BBI is a public-private partnership between the EU and the Bio-based Industries Consortium, operating under Horizon 2020. The “PEFerence” consortium is coordinated by Dutch company Synvina C.V., a joint venture between chemical companies BASF and Avantium (FPF reported). Other members include Tereos Participations S.A.S. of France, Nestec S.A. of Switzerland, and Lego System A/S of Denmark.

The PEF-consortium “seeks to establish an innovative value chain for bio-based raw materials, as well as chemicals and materials based on PEF,” PNE informed. The funding granted by BBI is intended for the construction of a 50,000 metric tons reference plant to produce furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA, CAS 3238-40-2), which is the main chemical building block for PEF. Patrick Schiffers, CEO of Synvina, stated that “the grant of the BBI is a strong signal for Synvina and our partners along the value chain to continue our mutual process to make PEF commercially available.” The BBI believes that products made of PEF “will significantly help to replace fossil-based packaging materials and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

In May 2017, Synvina received interim approval for the recyclability of PEF materials in the European bottle recycling market from the European PET Bottle Platform (EPBP) (FPF reported). With this approval, “PEF bottles are expected to be disposable through existing recovery systems” used for conventional polyethylene terephthalate (PET, CAS 25038-59-9) bottles, PNE explained. PEF is a biobased alternative to PET, exhibiting improved gas barrier properties and higher mechanical strength. PEF has identical recycling properties as PET, is available as a transparent material, and is not biodegradable (FPF reported).

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Plastics News Europe (June 8, 2017). “Industry consortium receives EU funds for PEF project.