PEFerence will establish a unique, industrial scale, cost-effective biorefinery flagship plant producing FDCA (furan dicarboxylic acid), a bio-based building block to produce high value products.

Bio-based FDCA can be used to make a wide range of chemicals and polymers such as polyesters, polyamides, coating resins and plasticizers and, crucially, can also be used to make PEF (polyethylene furanoate), a 100% bio-based polyester used to make bottles, films and fibres.

The PEFerence consortium aims to replace a significant share of fossil-based polyesters, such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET), and packaging materials like glass and metal with 100% bio-based furanics polyesters. PEF’s excellent barrier properties and its calculated cost price indicate that it can compete with traditional, multi-million tonne, packaging products such as aluminium cans, multilayer packaging and small size multilayer PET bottles, on price and performance when produced at large scale.

Other promising materials to be validated in the project include PBF (Polybutylenefuranoate) and FDCA-based polyurethanes.