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Stora Enso and Kolon Industries to collaborate on bio-based polyesters

| By Mary Bailey

Stora Enso Oyj (Helsinki, Finland) and Kolon Industries have signed a Joint Development Agreement to develop and industrialize bio-based polyesters and their applications, as well as renewable binder resin formulations. Application areas can cover, for example, packaging, car tire reinforcements, and films for high value-added products such as electronics, panels and displays.

The development work will combine FuraCore by Stora Enso – a proprietary process for converting fructose into FDCA (Furandicarboxylic acid) via HMF (5-hydroxymethylfurfural) – and Stora Enso’s expertise in the packaging industry with Kolon Industries’ leading expertise in polyester and phenolic resin development as well as manufacturing for a range of applications.

“This partnership is significant in that it enables the solidification of the foundation for building a new bioplastics ecosystem. We will continue to accelerate the development of sustainable polymer technologies for a greener environment,” says Sung Han, CTO of Kolon Group.

“Together with Kolon Industries, we will be developing and validating commercially attractive formulations and applications based on FDCA-based polyesters and HMF-based resins. We look forward to partnering with a leader in the field for applying our elegant FuraCore technology. We share a vision for making future-proof materials that do good for people and the planet,” says Johanna Hagelberg, Executive Vice President, Biomaterials Division at Stora Enso.

FDCA is an organic chemical compound that occurs in nature and is the key building block for bio-based plastics such as PEF (polyethylene furanoate). PEF holds great potential as a packaging material and for technical films where its attractive barrier properties open exciting opportunities. PEF may enable renewable textiles as well, offering consumers a more sustainable choice. HMF is the precursor to FDCA in the FuraCore process. As a versatile specialty chemical, it adds renewability and performance to certain resin formulations.