A breakthrough process for producing furan dicarboxylic methyl ester (FDME) from fructose was announced by DuPont Industrial Biosciences and Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM).
The process has the potential to expand the materials industry with high-performance renewable materials.
FDME is a long-sought after molecule that has not been able to be sold at a reasonable price because of its rarity. It is considered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to be one of the 12 building blocks with the ability to be converted into a variety of high-value, bio-based chemicals or materials able to deliver high performance. The announcement by DuPont and ADM would make the technology more efficient and simple in processing.
“This molecule is a game-changing platform technology. It will enable cost-efficient production of a variety of 100 percent renewable, high-performance chemicals and polymers with applications across a broad range of industries,” Simon Herriot, global business director for biomaterials at DuPont, said. “ADM is an agribusiness powerhouse with strong technology development capabilities. They are the ideal partner with which to develop this new, renewable supply chain for FDME.”
A 100 percent renewable and recyclable polymer called polytrimethylene furandicarboxylate (PTF) from DuPont’s proprietary Bio-PDO is one of the first to use FDME. Its main use is in making bottles and other beverage packages where it is used to improve the gas barrier.
“We are excited about the potential FDME has to help our customers reach new markets and develop better-performing products, all made from sustainable, bio-based starting materials,” Kevin Moore, president for renewable chemicals at ADM, said. “With their strong leadership in the biomaterials industry, DuPont is a great partner that can help us bring this product to market for our customers.”
The building of a demonstration plant in Decatur, Illinois, is in the plans for product testing and research.