Avantium builds furanics pilot plant

The blog mentioned Avantium before in its coverage of the Biobased Chemicals East conference last month. The company announced today that it has started construction of its 20 tons/year pilot plant to produce furanics-based monomers and polymers starting in the first quarter of 2011.

The plant is located at the Chemelot site in Geleen, the Netherlands, where other industrial producers such as DSM and Sabic are also located. I also mentioned about Chemelot being talked about by DSM during the conference.

The furanics building blocks will be marketed under the brand name YXY (pronounced ~ixy). The pilot plant is partly funded by a EUR 1 million grant from the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture.

The Ministry had a total budget of EUR 10 million for pilot plant projects that will produce sustainable bio-based products and energy for the European market. Avantium plans to raise additional private funding to run the pilot plant and to further accelerate the commercialization of YXY.

The company said it expects to close a EUR 15 million round by the end of 2010.

Avantium is collaborating with industrial partners such as NatureWorks and Teijin Aramid to develop novel materials on basis of its YXY building blocks. Possible applications include water and soft drink bottles, carpets, textiles, high-performance fibers, coatings and plasticizers.

As mentioned by the blog before, Avantium plans to have a demonstration plant of around 1,000 ton/year in 2012 and an industrial plant with capacities between 10,000 and 100,000 tons/year is expected by late 2014.

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