Eastman Chemical and Origin Materials join forces in the biochemical sector


Tennessee-based Eastman Chemical Company and Origin Materials (formerly known as Micromidas) have entered into a non-exclusive license agreement for Eastman to license its proprietary 2,5-Furandicarboxylic Acid (“FDCA”) and FDCA derivatives production technology from renewable resources to Origin Materials. Origin also recently purchased an oxidation pilot plant from Eastman that will enable Origin to demonstrate the licensed technology. Terms of the license agreement and pilot plant sale were not disclosed.

FDCA has been identified by the U.S. Department of Energy as one of the top 12 bio-based building blocks, and can be converted into a number of high-value chemicals or materials. FDCA can be used to produce polymer resins, films, and fibers and as a building block for plasticizers. The largest initial FDCA applications are expected to be to make 100 percent bio-based plastics, such as polyethylene furanoate (PEF) for beverage containers and food packaging.

Eastman has developed key technologies for economically competitive conversion of 5-(hydroxymethyl) furfural (5-HMF) and its derivatives to crude FDCA, polymer grade FDCA and polymer grade dimethylfuran-2,5-dicarboxylate (DMF). Its technology is broadly flexible in terms of feedstocks and provides efficient production of crude FDCA, polymer grade FDCA and polymer grade DMF.

“Eastman’s technology provides robust and multiple integrated engineering options for commercialization,” said Eastman’s Damon Warmack, senior vice president of Corporate Development and Chemical Intermediates. “This agreement leverages the world-class FDCA production technologies we have developed over the last several years.” Eastman is actively pursuing a broad intellectual property strategy with dozens of U.S. and foreign patents awarded or pending.

John Bissell, CEO of Origin Materials, said the company is excited by the opportunities created by this licensing agreement. “This technology will enable us to produce FDCA monomer, which can then be used by our customers to develop PEF bottles, films and other plastics from our intermediate chemicals,” said Bissell.
Origin produces cost-advantaged bio-based intermediates from lignocellulosic raw materials. The company’s intermediates can be used to make new polymers, surfactants, and carbon blacks, each with differentiated performance.

 

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