DuPont & Archer Daniels Midland Win Platts Global Energy Breakthrough Solution of the Year Award

DuPont Industrial Biosciences and Archer Daniels Midland have been honored with the Breakthrough Solution of the Year Award from Platts Global Energy for their platform technology to produce a revolutionary biobased monomer, furan dicarboxylic methyl ester (FDME). The award was announced at the 18th Platts Global Energy Awards, held in New York on Thursday, December 8th.

The breakthrough process developed by DuPont and ADM, announced earlier this year, has the potential to expand the materials landscape in the 21st century with exciting and truly novel, high-performance renewable materials. The technology has applications in packaging, textiles, engineering plastics and many other industries. DuPont and ADM were selected as Breakthrough Solution of the Year winners out of a field of eight other finalists.

“FDME is a game-changing platform technology that will enable a variety of renewable, high-performance chemicals and polymers with applications across a broad range of industries,” said Michael Saltzberg, global business director for Biomaterials at DuPont. “We are honored to receive this recognition alongside our partner, ADM, as we continue our work to help industries address the challenge of improving the environmental footprint of their supply chains and offering sustainable choices to their downstream customers.”

“FDME is a highly functional, biobased building block, which we believe will deliver performance benefits in a number of industries including packaging, adhesives, coatings, elastomers and plastics,” said Kevin Moore, president, Renewable Chemicals at ADM. “As a leader in renewable chemistry, we’re excited to offer customers the opportunity to improve their existing products with a sustainable alternative and proud to be recognized for this innovative, breakthrough technology from Platts Global Energy with our partner DuPont.”

FDME is a high-purity derivative of furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA), one of the 12 building blocks identified by the U.S. Department of Energy that can be converted into a number of high-value, bio-based chemicals and materials that can deliver high performance in a variety of applications. The two companies’ new FDME technology, which starts with fructose from corn, is a more efficient and simple process than traditional conversion approaches and results in higher yields, lower energy usage and lower capital expenditures. Until this year, it had long been sought-after and researched, but had not yet been available at commercial scale and at reasonable cost. ADM and DuPont have taken the initial step in the process of bringing FDME to market by moving forward on the scale-up phase of the project. An integrated 60 ton-per-year demonstration plant is currently under construction in Decatur, Illinois and is expected to begin operations in the second half of 2017. The facility will provide potential customers with sufficient product quantities for testing and research as well as the required basic data for a planned commercial-scale plant.

One of the first polymers under development utilizing FDME is polytrimethylene furandicarboxylate (PTF), a novel polyester also made with DuPont’s proprietary Bio-PDO™ (1,3-propanediol). PTF is a 100-percent renewable and recyclable polymer that, when used to make bottles and other beverage packages, substantially improves gas-barrier properties compared to other polyesters. This makes PTF a great choice for customers in the beverage packaging industry looking to improve the shelf life of their products.

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