Global market for polyethylene furanoate (PEF) is likely to increase on account of growing demand for sustainable packaging materials in vague of paradigm shift towards environmental concerns and sustainability. Increasing expenditure by chemical manufacturers towards the development of bio-based chemicals intended for reduction on dependence of petrochemical feedstock is expected to drive the market growth. Booming shale gas exploration in the U.S. in light of rising expenditure on hydraulic fracturing at domestic level is likely to hinder the market growth. PEF is manufactured from bio-based mono ethylene glycol (MEG) and FDCA (Furandicarboxylic acid). In December 2011, Netherlands based, Avantium announced the development of new technology for the production of FDCA by 2016 which is expected to ensure raw material access for polyethylene furanoate production., Greencol Taiwan Corp , a joint venture between China Man Made Fiber Corp and Toyta Tususho established a facility to manufacture bio-MEG In 2012, which is likely to stimulate the market for polyethylene furanoate.
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PEF is a 100% recyclable bio-based polymer derived from plants having the potential to replace PET which is a durable material derived from conventional resources. PEF has certain advantageous properties over PET which include high barrier to water, oxygen and carbon dioxide along with extended product shelf life and reduction in production cost. Avantium developed YXY technology platform aimed at manufacturing bio fuels, bio based plastics and bio chemicals. The YXY technology incorporates the application of carbohydrate feedstock such as starch, corn and sugar. Avantium has patented a technology aimed at conversion of biomass into furanics which is used in manufacturing of PEF. The company established strategic partnership with Danone, Coca-Cola and ALPLA for developing and commercializing bio-based polymers derived from PEF. Avantium manufactures PEF, FDCA and methyl levulinate in its pilot plant located in Netherlands. In 2014, Avantium, Danone, Swire Pacific and Coca-Cola signed a consortium of USD 50 million investments aimed at developing and commercializing the alternative to PET for packaging applications. In 2014, Avantium demonstrated the application of PEF for manufacturing of fibers to make 100% bio based t-shirts for textile manufacturers.
Asia Pacific is likely to be a lucrative market in the near future on account of growing packaging industry in India and China in vague of positive outlook on food & beverage, consumer goods and pharmaceutical sectors. The government of China announced 12th five year plan, aimed at reducing carbon footprint and enhancing chemical output at domestic level by focusing on renewable resources which is likely to have a positive impact on market. North America is likely to be promising market for bio based chemicals in light of increasing environmental concerns towards reducing GHG emissions coupled with stringent regulations towards non-recyclable plastic consumption at domestic level. In 2011, the US government published National Bio economy Blueprint intended for promotion of bioplastics consumption by investing in renewable resources through development of effective technologies and processes.
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