'From citrus peel to PEF-plastics' Sugar acid-based high-yield FDCA
The shift from fossil-based to renewable plastics requires novel ways of producing monomers. New technologies developed at VTT enable the use of pectin-containing agricultural waste, such as citrus peel and sugar beet pulp, as raw material for renewable monomers like FDCA. Aldaric acids obtained from the waste streams are stable intermediates for the production of FDCA (2,5-furandicarboxylic acid), one of the monomers of PEF, having significant advantages compared to common routes. The stable aldaric acids are bringing high process yields, and thereby enabling an overall cost efficient manufacturing platform. PEF is a renewable alternative to fossil-based PET with superior barrier properties. Utilising pectin-containing waste streams opens up new possibilities for the circular economy of plastics.