Origin/Terphane for biopolymer films; Origin/Husky for PET/FDCA bottles

Teknor Apex’s Sarlink RX 3100B series TPV

BOPET producer Terphane, part of Tredegar Corporation, and carbon negative materials firm Origin Materials have announced a strategic partnership to produce sustainable bio-polymer films using Origin Materials’ biobased PEF polymer.

As part of the partnership, Terphane signed a multiyear capacity reservation agreement to purchase the advanced bio-polymer PEF for use in film applications, including food and beverage packaging and highvalue industrial applications. BOPEF is biaxially oriented PEF, and BOPET is biaxially oriented PET. These stretched polymer films are valued for their strength, transparency, barrier properties, and electrical insulation.

Origin Materials’ patented technology platform represents a potential breakthrough in the commercialisation of cost-competitive and low-carbon PEF

Made from furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA), the primary precursor to PEF, Origin PEF is a polymer with an attractive combination of sustainability and performance characteristics for packaging including enhanced barrier properties. Origin’s PEF is expected to be 100% plantbased, fully recyclable, have attractive unit economics, and to offer a significantly reduced carbon footprint, with superior strength, thermal properties, and barrier properties compared to today’s widely used petroleumbased materials.

According to Marcos Vieira, global director of R&D for Terphane, “The development of this film will be critical to our efforts to meet this new global demand for sustainable flexible packaging solutions.

The film is partially made from PEF and has all the traditional properties of a regular PET film, including post-consumption recycling. In addition, PEF provides an excellent thermal resistance and superior barrier performance, extending the shelf life of the packaged products.” Vieira adds that initial tests in the US proved the material works perfectly in extrusion lines.

Since its founding in 1976, Terphane has developed technologies and processes to produce specialty BOPET films and the company is recognised for its vertical integration, from resin to specialty films. Terphane is a global leader in speciality PET films, and a key company in Latin America.

Meanwhile in related news, Origin Materials and machinery firm Husky Technologies have announced a milestone in the commercialisation of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) incorporating FDCA for advanced packaging and other applications.

Origin successfully polymerised the bio-based sustainable chemical FDCA into the common recyclable plastic, PET, and Husky moulded the resulting “PET/F” hybrid polymer into preforms that were then blown into bottles. The companies used Husky’s injection moulding technologies and manufacturing equipment, a commercial manufacturing-scale level of processing demonstrating the ability of PET/F, a polymer made with FDCA, to be integrated into existing PET production systems.

Origin expects to develop and sell a family of 100% bio-based, low-carbon PET/F polymers offering full recyclability and improved performance compared with traditional 100% petroleum-derived PET.

Teknor Apex’s Sarlink RX 3100B series TPV

Origin anticipates that PET/F will offer “tunable” performance, with properties like enhanced mechanical performance and barrier properties enabling longer shelf life controlled by adjusting manufacturing conditions and the quantity of FDCA copolymer.

This innovation demonstrates a pathway for the drop-in market adoption of FDCA to produce polymers cost-effectively from biomass using Origin technology. Origin expects to enable the production of FDCA, PEF (polyethylene furanoate), and PET/F at commercial scale using its patented technology platform, which turns the carbon found in sustainable wood residues into useful materials, while capturing carbon in the process.

FDCA is a chemical building block with diverse applications including polyesters, polyamides, polyurethanes, coating resins, and plasticisers. FDCA is also the precursor for the next-generation sustainable polymer PEF. By combining FDCA with PET, Origin has produced PET/F, a “tunable” hybrid polymer offering performance enhancements and full recyclability.


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