AVA Biochem AG in Switzerland has developed, patented and piloted a fully water-based process for the conversion of industrial sugars into the 100% bio-based molecule 5-HMF. This platform chemical is ideally positioned to replace petroleum-sourced chemicals in various mass-market applications, due to its versatility, non-toxicity and bio-sourcing. Applications include biopolymers (such as yarns, films, bottles and other packaging) as well as resins and adhesives, where 5-HMF replaces highly toxic formaldehyde.
Using Hydrothermal Processing (HTP), an innovative water-based process, it converts renewable feedstocks into valuable 5-HMF and produces organically-derived chemicals.
With the common goal to further implement 5-HMF in various materials and chemical applications, AVA Biochem has entered into a joint development agreement with French tyre maker Michelin Group.
This collaboration aims to establish the world’s first commercial-scale production plant of 5-HMF, and to ultimately bring novel product applications onto the market based on this versatile chemical. These applications are all targeted to improve the performance, economics, sustainability (low carbon footprint) and safety (non-toxicity) of a variety of both consumer goods and industrial products.
“We are proud to be working together with one of the most innovative players in their industry. The collaboration with Michelin represents a powerful opportunity to develop eco-friendly industrial products. It is an important step forward in AVA Biochem’s ambition to become a preferred partner and key provider of sustainable chemicals solutions and worldwide licenses to industrial and consumer goods groups”, says Peter Achermann, Chairman/Co-Founder of AVA Biochem.
Christophe Rahier (Michelin Senior vice president, Strategy and new businesses High Tech Materials) says: “This collaboration demonstrates the ability of AVA Biochem to master their new process. We will contribute to its know-how in the industrialisation and evaluation of the performance of these products in different applications. This collaboration also illustrates Michelin’s growing interest in “green chemistry”, in line with our sustainable development strategy and our vision of tomorrow’s mobility.”