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BBB 2016

bioplastics daily news
  • Mercurius Biorefining and University of California, Davis to develop technology for low-cost FDCA production


    Mercurius Biorefining has furthered its partnership with UC Davis to develop first-of-its-kind technology for production of furan-2,5- dicarboxylic acid (FDCA).

    Biomass FDCAWhile current approaches to the commercialization of FDCA use fructose as a feedstock, the Mercurius-UC Davis process operates from raw biomass. This new technology does not compete with food sources, and estimates show that it will be lower in cost than competing processes.

    The FDCA molecule is a key component of PEF (polyethylene furanoate), a recyclable polymer with a wide range of applications including fibers and plastic containers. PEF is a promising replacement for PET (polyethylene terephthalate), a widely used polymer for consumer products signified by the plastics recycling code “1”.

    Karl Seck, President of Mercurius Biorefining, said his company was “thrilled to work with UC Davis to develop this technology,” which will further support production of biomaterials and realization of the circular carbon economy.

    Mercurius Biorefining (formerly Biofuels) was founded in 2009, with the mission n
    to produce bio-chemicals and drop-in fuels through novel applications of existing technologies. The company has patented the Renewable Acid Hydrolysis Condensation Hydrotreating (REACH) technology, which allows for divergent product streams using non-food biomass feedstock.

    Mark Mascal, Professor of Chemistry at UC Davis, commented, “We look very much forward to partnering with Mercurius Biorefining on the commercialization of this process, which will provide a value stream to support the development of the REACH biofuel technology.”

    Mercurius Biorefining continues to develop the proprietary REACH technology at its pilot facility in Maine, converting cellulosic waste feedstock (e.g. organic portion of MSW, agriculture and forestry wastes) into a wide range of products such as drop-in, renewable diesel and aviation fuel. With funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, Mercurius’ current project partners include the University of Maine and the Purdue University.

    Image biomass courtesy of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

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