Amsterdam-based Synvina CV plans to extend the pilot phase of its furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA) production by 24 to 36 months in order to optimize future commercial-scale production, according to Avantium NV, one of the partner companies in the joint venture.
In a Jan. 12 statement, Avantium, which shares the ownership of the bioplastics startup with BASF SE, said the decision was made following a broad feasibility assessment for commercial-scale production of FDCA in its reference plant intended to be built in Antwerp.
FDCA is the main building block for the polyethylenefuroate (PEF), a biopolyester polymer.
The assessment, according to Avantium, looked at product performance, market appetite and technical process, and confirmed that product performance and customer demand were “strong.”
In the technical process evaluation, however, Synvina has identified some steps that require improvement, which will help efficiency of the process.
“As a result, Synvina intends to extend the pilot phase, which will in turn extend the timeline to start up the reference plant by 24 to 36 months,” said Avantium.
“The confidence of Avantium, BASF and Synvina in the product performance and its market potential has only increased since Synvina was founded.
“Encountering technical challenges is not uncommon in innovative, ground-breaking technologies of this kind,” said Avantium CEO Tom van Aken, adding the companies involved had increased confidence in the product performance and market potential.
“Synvina is working closely with BASF and Avantium to resolve these challenges. We are all confident that this will result in a production process that runs smoothly and reliably, and a product that is as pure as the market demands,” he added.
According to Van Aken, the reference plant will be operational in the 2023-2024 time-frame.
Synvina was established in October 2016 with the intent to build and operate the reference plant.
This will be the first commercial-scale plant to produce FDCA, the breakthrough building block for PEF.