Fri August 25, 2017

PLASTICS Recognizes DuPont and ADM’s Contribution to Bioplastics during Bioplastics Week

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Bioplastics Division, a part of the Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS), today announced DuPont Industrial Biosciences and Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) as the winners of the 2017 Innovation in Bioplastics Award. The two companies developed a method to produce furan dicarboxylic methyl ester (FDME), a biobased monomer, from fructose derived from corn starch. This is the fifth-annual Innovation in Bioplastics Award, an honor that goes to companies applying bioplastics to innovative, purposeful product design. 

The new FDME-producing technology is more sustainable and results in higher yields and lower energy and capital expenditures than traditional conversion methods. Biobased FDME has the potential to replace petroleum-based materials in many applications with high performance, renewable materials in industries like packaging, textiles and plastics engineering. 

“The breakthrough process developed by DuPont and ADM provides a simpler, more efficient approach to producing FDME that will make bioplastics a competitive option in more applications across various industries,” said Patrick Krieger, assistant director of regulatory and technical affairs at PLASTICS. “We are excited to honor a partnership that has opened the door to new possibilities for bioplastics.”

One of the first materials under development using the new FDME process is polytrimethylene furandicarboxylate (PTF), a 100-percent renewable and recyclable polymer with improved gas barrier properties that can be used to improve shelf life and lighten the weight of products in the beverage packaging industry. With lighter plastic bottles that offer a high gas barrier, costs to the transporter and negative environmental impacts would decrease on a global scale. 

“This molecule is a game-changing platform technology. It will enable cost-efficient production of a variety of renewable, high-performance chemicals and polymers with applications across a broad range of industries—including textiles, auto parts, food packaging and more,” said Michael Saltzberg, global business director for biomaterials at DuPont.  “A demonstration plant for the technology in Decatur, Illinois will be online later this year, and we look forward to making this breakthrough a reality on a commercial scale.”

“This project is a great example of how ADM is able to create value by providing innovative new sustainable solutions that address unmet needs for customers,” said Paul Bloom, vice president, process and chemical research for ADM. “Our unique partnership with DuPont is helping bring an innovative new product to customers that uses renewable feedstocks but also helps improve performance, and we are excited about the team’s continued progress as we near completion of construction of the demonstration project.”

The Innovation in Bioplastics Award is announced annually during PLASTICS’ Bioplastics Division’s Bioplastics Week. Bioplastics Week is a campaign—driven on social media using the hashtag #BioplasticsWeek—created to educate people about the many benefits of bioplastics by increasing their visibility. In addition to announcing the award winner, PLASTICS released a new series of videos, and promoted infographics and blog posts to educate about bioplastics throughout the week.