Avantium raises Euro 30 million for would-be PET replacement


Avantium (Amsterdam) has raised EUR 30 million, money it says it will use to develop and commercialize a next-generation polyester based on bioderived Furanics building blocks. Avantium will apply the funds to the construction and operation of its pilot plant in Geleen, the Netherlands, as well as to develop more green materials, including a polyamide, on the basis of its YXY building blocks.

The company calls its PEF (Poly-ethylene-furanoate) polyester a "new-to-the-world" polymer that can be made out of plant material instead of oil. Avantium has ambitious goals for PEF, positioning the green material as replacement to petroleum-based polyesters like polyethylene terephthalate (PET).

PEF has demonstrated some superior properties over traditional PET, according to Avantium, including lower permeability of oxygen, carbon-dioxide, and water and an enhanced ability to withstand heat. The company is currently developing PEF bottles for beverages, food, cosmetic products, and detergents. It is also working on PEF fibers and other materials based on its YXY (pronounced as icksy) building blocks, including the aforementioned polyamides and coatings (For more on Avantium, read this article on its participation in the SPE GPEC 2010 Clean Tech competition)....
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