The Netherlands-based Avantium — a technology company specializing in advanced high-throughput
R&D — has begun construction of a pilot plant that will produce YXY building blocks for making
green materials and fuels. The company’s patented YXY technology converts biomass into furanics —
chemicals formed by removing the water from carbohydrates. Avantium reports its production process,
which is based on its catalytic technology, is fast and cost-effective, and may be implemented in
existing chemical production processes.
The plant is funded in part by a 1-million-euro grant from the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture.
Avantium is obtaining additional private funding in order to operate the pilot plant and continue
YXY commercialization efforts. The company expects to secure an additional 15 million euros by the
end of 2010 and anticipates the plant will go online in the first quarter of 2011.
Avantium is partnering with NatureWorks LLC — the Minnetonka, Minn.-based manufacturer of
Ingeo™ polylactide biopolymer — and the Netherlands-based Teijin Aramid B.V. — a manufacturer of
aramid fibers and a subsidiary of the Japan-based Teijin Group — to develop new materials based on
its YXY building blocks. The company plans to use those building blocks to produce green and
recyclable materials including water and soft drink bottles, carpets, textiles, high-performance
fibers, coatings and plasticizers.
October 19, 2010