Concerns over limited supplies of petroleum-based feedstocks, coupled with the global issue of climate change, have increased demand from consumers and companies for more sustainable products. In this economic environment, chemical and polymer production from renewable resources is increasingly viewed as an attractive area for investment.
Following this global trend, research on the production of 2,5-furandicarboxyllic acid (FDCA) has intensified over the last few years. FDCA has the potential to replace fossil-based purified terephthalic acid (PTA) in the production of polyesters and other polymers containing an aromatic ring. The most promising application segment for FDCA is for the production of polyethylene furanoate (PEF). This polymer exhibits physical properties and applications similar to polyethylene terephthalate (PET), and is produced by the use of FDCA, instead of PTA, in the PET-production process.
Figure 1 depicts an FDCA production process from a glucose solution via the furan pathway in a process similar to that developed by Avantium Technologies B.V. (Amsterdam, the Netherlands; www.avantium.com). This process can be divided into three main areas: furans production, methoxy methyl furan (MMF) purification,…