Technological watch

Avantium and Sukano sign offtake agreement to develop PEF film masterbatches

Avantium N.V., a leading technology companyin renewable chemistry, announces that it has signed a conditional offtake agreement with Sukano AG, a reputable expert in additive and colour masterbatches and compounds for polyester and specialty resins. The masterbatches are tailored to impart properties to plastics and as such are an effective way to diversify and expand polymer applications.

Avantium recently announced that it has started the construction of the world’s first commercial plant for the production of FDCA (furandicarboxylic acid) from plant-based sugars. FDCA is the key ingredient for making the sustainable, circular and high-performance plastic material PEF
(polyethylene furanoate). Avantium expects that construction of this FDCA Flagship Plant is completed by the end of 2023, enabling the commercial launch of PEF from 2024 onwards.

In 2021, Avantium generated offtake commitments for half of the Flagship Plant’s capacity. Sukano and Avantium have joined efforts in the development of antiblock masterbatches for PEF-film applications. To this end, Sukano and Avantium have conducted comprehensive lab trials in
Sukano’s in-house R&D laboratory, producing biaxially oriented PEF films for packaging applications.

The collaborative development work has resulted in two prototype masterbatches capable of providing antiblock performance of the surface of biaxially oriented PEF film. Both developed antiblock masterbatches offer a significant friction reduction without interfering with the performance of the stretched PEF films. The availability of antiblock masterbatches opens the possibility to further develop PEF and PEF-based films at (pre-)industrial scale equipment.

Norman Egger, CEO of Sukano AG, comments: “The PEF offering and performance sparked our interest and we are impressed by the potential of this new resin. With Sukano’s pioneering and entrepreneurial backbone we are convinced that our expertise in additives and color masterbatches for polyesters adds clear value to the use of PEF in various applications. The conditional offtake agreement with Avantium is a key step forward to showcase this, and to provide our customers with fit-for-purpose innovative and biobased polyester alternatives to lower the environmental impact of
this industry value chain.”

Tom van Aken, CEO of Avantium, says: “We are very pleased with the partnership with Sukano. With Sukano’s application know-how and expertise on masterbatches and compounds on the one hand and Avantium’s knowledge on PEF, it is a natural step to work together to innovate quicker and further, whilst opening the road for tailored performance of PEF in industrial film, fiber and moulded applications.”

About SukanoSukano is a global specialist in the development and production of additive and color masterbatches and compounds for polyesters, biopolymers, and specialty resins. The company is driven by expertise and devotes its technical knowledge to developing innovative products and services that
go into packaging, durable goods, building and construction, medical, and textile markets. The company was founded in 1988, with the development of a highly concentrated, market reference slip/antiblock additive masterbatch for PET film and sheet applications. It is a family-owned business
headquartered in Switzerland, with additional manufacturing facilities strategically located in the USA and Malaysia. Sukano is able to leverage its global knowledge base to provide outstanding local support, creating additional value for customers through flexibility, reliability, technical expertise
and agility. The pioneering and entrepreneurial spirit that the company was founded upon continues to this day. Sukano endeavors to be an organization that has a positive social impact, building strategies to advance not only its business, but also the common good. The goal is to be a force to change the world for the better, a company that choses to operate with integrity, strengthen society by providing unparalleled service, knowhow, and quality to its customers worldwide. The emphasis on partnerships and collaborations that catalyze change and drive sustainable business models and innovative products is at the heart of this effort. Sukano strives to be part of a larger mission and become the global partner of choice for plastic converters and brand owners through development of innovative products and highly specialized solutions.

About AvantiumAvantium is a leading technology development company and a forerunner in renewable chemistry. Avantium develops novel technologies based on renewable carbon sources as an alternative to fossil-based chemicals and plastics. The company currently has three technologies at pilot and demonstration phase. The most advanced technology is the YXY® plant-to-plastics–technology that catalytically converts plant-based sugars into FDCA (furandicarboxylic acid), the key building block for the sustainable plastic PEF (polyethylene furanoate). Avantium has successfully demonstrated the YXY® Technology at its pilot plant in Geleen, the Netherlands, and has started construction of the world’s first commercial plant for large-scale production of PEF in 2022.

The second technology is Ray Technology™ and catalytically converts industrial sugars to plant-based MEG (mono-ethylene glycol): plantMEG™. Avantium is scaling up its Ray Technology™ and the demonstration plant in Delfzijl, the Netherlands opened in November 2019.

The third technology is called the Dawn Technology™ that converts non-food biomass into industrial sugars and lignin in order to transition the chemicals and materials industries to non-fossil resources. In 2018, Avantium opened the Dawn Technology™ pilot biorefinery in Delfzijl, the Netherlands. Next to developing and commercialising renewable chemistry technologies, the company also provides advanced catalysis R&D services and systems to customers in the refinery and chemical industries. Avantium works in partnership with like-minded companies around the globe to create revolutionary renewable chemistry solutions from invention to commercial scale.

Avantium’s shares are listed on Euronext Amsterdam and Euronext Brussels (symbol: AVTX). Its offices and headquarters are in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Publication date: 19/04/2022

Author: Marion Kupfer

Bio-based News


This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 837761.