A European project, coordinated by the Spanish national research council (CSIC) is looking into new technologies to obtain high added-value chemical compounds from biomass.
The EnzOx2 project, in which Valencia-based Plastics Technology Centre Aimplas is also taking part, is a three-year project which will try to develop new bio-chemical technologies based on the use of oxidative enzymes.
The products manufactured via this process will then be used as an alternative to petrochemical-based raw materials.
Specifically, EnzOx2 plans to develop a 100% enzymatic conversion of bio-based 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) into diformylfuran, a platform chemical, and 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA), a plastic building-block, which can be polymerised into polyethylene furanoate, or PEF.
PEF is a high-performance renewably-sourced biopolyester that can be substituted for PET in a myriad of applications.
The EnzOx2 Project is a research & innovation action funded by the Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking, a public-private partnership between the EU (under H2020 framework programme) and the Bio-based Industries Consortium.
Twelve participants from five European countries will join efforts for the sustainable production of chemical building blocks and other added value products from plant biomass using enzymatic technologies.
The role of Aimplas will be validating the industrial applications of new compounds and its features as a monomer in the formulation of a PET substitutive material.