DuPont Industrial Biosciences and Archer Daniels Midland are joint winners of the 2017 Innovation in Bioplastics Award.
The Bioplastics Council, a division of the Plastics Industry Association, honored the companies with the second annual award for their groundbreaking process to produce furan dicarboxylic methyl ester (FDME), a biobased monomer, from fructose.
The technological development has the potential to expand the materials landscape in the 21st century with high-performance renewable materials, association officials said in an Aug. 25 news release. The material has applications in packaging, textiles, engineering plastics and many other industries, they added.
FDME is a high-purity derivative of furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA), one of the 12 building blocks identified by the U.S. Department of Energy, which can be converted into a number of high-value, bio-based chemicals or materials. Bio-based FDME has long been sought-after and researched, but has not yet been available at commercial scale and at reasonable cost, officials said.
The technology developed by Wilmington, Del.-based DuPont and ADM of Chicago is a more efficient and simple process than traditional conversion approaches and results in higher yields, lower energy usage, lower capital expenditures and better performance, they added.
"This molecule is a game-changing platform technology," DuPont biomaterials global business director Michael Saltzberg said in the release. "It will enable cost-efficient production of a variety of renewable, high-performance chemicals and polymers with applications across a broad range of industries."