DuPont Joins ADM to Offer Bio-Based Material

WILMINGTON, DE | Science and agricultural leaders at DuPont Industrial Biosciences and Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) report a new breakthrough process with the potential to expand the materials landscape in the 21st century with high-performance renewable materials. Reportedly, the technology has applications in packaging, textiles, engineering plastics, and many other industries.

The companies have developed a method for producing furan dicarboxylic methyl ester (FDME) from fructose. FDME is a high-purity derivative of furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA), one of the 12 building blocks identified by the US Dept. of Energy that can be converted into a number of high-value, bio-based chemicals or materials that can deliver high performance in a number of applications. Companies say it has long been sought-after and researched but has not yet been available at commercial scale and at reasonable cost. The new FDME technology is said to be a more efficient and simple process than traditional conversion approaches and to result in higher yields, lower energy usage, and lower capital expenditures.

“This molecule is a game-changing platform technology,” says Simon Herriott, global business director for biomaterials at DuPont. “It will enable cost-efficient production of a variety of 100 percent renewable, high-performance chemicals and polymers with applications across a broad range of industries. ADM is an agribusiness powerhouse with strong technology development capabilities. They are the ideal partner with which to develop this new, renewable supply chain for FDME.”

“We are excited about the potential FDME has to help our customers reach new markets and develop better-performing products, all made from sustainable, bio-based starting materials,” says Kevin Moore, president, renewable chemicals at ADM. “With their strong leadership in the biomaterials industry, DuPont is a great partner that can help us bring this product to market for our customers.”

ADM and DuPont are taking the initial step in the process of bringing FDME to market by moving forward on the scale-up phase of the project. The two companies are planning to build an integrated 60 ton-per-year demonstration plant in Decatur, IL, which will provide potential customers with sufficient product quantities for testing and research.

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