Polyesters and -amides from wood: Sugar conversion to furan dicarboxylic acid and to muconic acid

Mona Arnold, David Thomas, Juha Linnekoski, Martta Asikainen, Ali Harlin

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientific


    The overall bio-plastics capacity is estimated to grow from 1.7 million tonnes in 2014 to 7.85 million tonnes in 2019. Most of the growth will come from Bio-PET30. Furan dicarboxylic acid (FDCA)-based polyethylene furanoate (PEF) polymers offer bio-based alternatives to petroleum based PET polymers. They show a 50-60 % lower carbon footprint and better, or similar, properties compared to PET polymers. PEF polymers have been shown to have six times better oxygen barrier compared to PET polymers, whereas its CO2 and H2O barrier qualities are both twice as good as that of PET polymers. VTT has developed a patented technology to produce FDCA from aldaric acids. The technology is based on commercial heterogeneous catalysts. Both batch and continuous processes have be applied. Aldaric acids can be produced from pectin or glucose by oxidation. Currently, the VTT technology shows a 50% FDCA yield and a total furan yield of 80 %. The obtained FDCA can be used as monomer for polyesters and polyamides. With the same technology, also muconic acid can be produced. Muconic acid is a starting compound for bio-based monomers for polyamides. The techno-economic analyses show competitive pricing and the life cycle analyses show that the carbon foot print is lower compared to petroleum-based references.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of European Biomass Conference and Exhibition, EUBCE 2018
    PublisherETA-Florence Renewable Energies
    Number of pages3
    ISBN (Electronic)978-88-89407-18-9
    Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018
    MoE publication typeB3 Non-refereed article in conference proceedings
    Event26th European Biomass Conference and Exhibition, EUBCE 2018
    - Bella center, Copenhagen, Denmark
    Duration: 14 May 201817 May 2018


    Conference26th European Biomass Conference and Exhibition, EUBCE 2018
    Abbreviated titleEUBCE 2018


    • Bio-polymers
    • Chemical conversion
    • Furandicarboxylic acid
    • Muconic acid
    • Polyesters
    • Sidestream utilization


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