Specialty chemicals firm DuPont & ADM open bio-based pilot facility

Specialty chemicals industry giant DuPont Industrial Bioscience and Archer Daniels Midland Co., (ADM) have recently announced that they will be opening the world’s first of its kind FDME (furan dicarboxylic methyl ester) pilot production facility in Decatur, Illinois. Allegedly, the plant is expected to bring a greater variety of sustainably sourced biomaterials into the specialty chemicals industry.

Reports reveal that nearly 10% of the oil used worldwide to manufacture plastic products that are used on an everyday basis from frozen food containers to shampoo bottles. Avoiding these fossil-fuel-based plastics is virtually out of the question as there is a lack of commercially available alternatives. Dupont and ADM, with their bio-based FDME are making efforts to bridge this significant gap that has been created in the market.

Dr. Michael Saltzberg, Director of biomaterials, DuPont Industrial Biosciences, revealed in a statement that the company is pretty confident on FDME as it is both better for business and a more sustainable option. He further added that ADM’s expertise in the chemistry of carbohydrates and agricultural value chains have made it the best possible business partner for the specialty chemicals industry firm.

For the record, FDME can be used to produce a wide range of bio-based materials, plastics, and chemicals as these molecules are derived from fructose. This has made FDME more efficient, cost effective, and eco-friendly over its conventional fossil fuel based counterparts.

Analysts speculate the regional specialty chemicals industry to soon witness the commercialization and escalating sales of this game-changing technology. As per authentic sources, one of the first FDME-based polymers that will be developed by DuPont is PTF (polytrimethylene furandicarboxyate). PTF for the uninitiated, is a novel polyester that is 100% renewable and used widely in bottling applications. It is now being used to create plastic bottles that are more sustainable, better performing, have a longer shelf life, and are light weight.