Avantium, Danone partner in PEF bottles

Here’s another news that will probably create a buzz at the BIOPLASTEK 2012 meeting next week in Washington D.C. and within the bioplastic community attending the humongous international plastic tradeshow NPE coming in April in Orlando, Florida.

Avantium announced today that it has partnered with Danone’s research organization to jointly develop recyclable PEF (polyethylene furanoate) bottles for Danone’s global bottled water business. The carbohydrate-based polymer PEF is being touted by the company as an alternative to PET (polyethylene terephthalate).

I’m sure readers recalled that Avantium is also one of the three companies alongside Gevo and Virent who are working with Coca-Cola to develop a 100% plant-based PET bottle. Avantium said their PEF has a 50-60% lower carbon footprint compared to petroleum-based PET.

Avantium can combines its YXY molecule based on 2,5 furan-dicarboxylic acid (FDCA) with renewable-based monoethylene glycol (MEG) to produce a 100% biobased PEF. Danone and Avantium plans to use non-food based carbohydtrates as feedstock for PEF.

Avantium is currently operating a 40 tonnes/year pilot plant in Geleen, the Netherlands for its PEF. The company plans to start commercial production of FDCA and PEF in 2015.

By the way, Danone has also been working with Braskem on using its sugarcane-derived high density polyethylene (HDPE) plastics for its bottled  yogurt product Actimel marketed worldwide, and with NatureWorks on using polylactic acid (PLA) for Danone’s Activia yogurt cups marketed in Germany.

Speaking of Braskem, the company has also spread out its green PE in Brazilian consumer products such as the packaging of Johnson & Johnson’s SUNDOWN sunscreen products, Faber-Castell’s pencil cases, and the plastic lids for Nestle/Tetra Pak’s milk packages.

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