Less than 2 tons of glucose to produce 1 ton of FDCA, this company wants to reduce the cost of FDCA to 10,000 yuan / ton
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2,5-furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA), converted from biomass
With similar structures and properties, it can be used to synthesize high-performance polyester, polyamide and epoxy resin. It has been identified as one of the 12 most potential bio-based compounds by the US Department of Energy, and is also regarded as a “sleeping giant”.
PEF obtained by polycondensation of FDCA and ethylene glycol is not only more sustainable and corresponding to carbon dioxide emissions than traditional PET polyester, but also has huge advantages in thermal properties, mechanical properties, gas barrier properties, etc. However, because the current production cost of FDCA is too high, the application fields of PEF polyester in the future will be limited to some high value-added scenarios.
Serek adopts the technical route of producing FDCA with glucose as raw material and glucaric acid as intermediate. “Reducing the cost of FDCA to a level that is competitive with PTA is our core goal,” said founder Guo Neng, “Glucose as a raw material source is richer than fructose in competing technical routes, and the price is much lower; The conversion efficiency of the technical route is very high, and the production of 1 ton of FDCA consumes less than 2 tons of glucose; more importantly, the continuous production process from glucose to FDCA developed by Cyric is compatible with the existing PTA production process, which It means that an existing PTA plant can be acquired and transformed to convert to FDCA production, saving billions of dollars in fixed capital expenditure compared to designing and building a brand-new FDCA plant.”
Guo Neng worked in the US branch of BP’s downstream business from 2010 to 2018, and has accumulated rich experience in the chemical industry across R&D and business, including bio-based chemicals, PTA and acetic acid technology licensing, financial analysis, and business strategy. “Working in a world-class company like BP made me realize how difficult it is for a brand-new technology to go from laboratory to commercialization,” Guo Neng said. “The team members have more than 70 years of industry experience. Experience, can achieve seamless connection from laboratory to small test to pilot test to industrial production.”
The Cyric team estimates that when the scale of the FDCA plant reaches 500,000 tons per year, the use of Cyric’s technical route and production process can reduce the production cost of FDCA to less than 10,000 yuan per ton. A level that can compete with PTA, especially when crude oil prices are above $60/barrel. And with the continuous optimization of the process, the production cost of FDCA will continue to decrease.”
Cyric plans to start providing kilogram-scale FDCA samples to domestic and foreign downstream customers who are interested in cooperation in the second half of the year, and at the same time start the design and construction of a 25-ton/year pilot plant. It is estimated that a 5,000-ton/year demonstration plant will be put into operation in 2025, and a 500,000-ton/year FDCA commercial unit will be put into operation by 2028.
Cyric’s long-term goal is to build an industrial chain of “biomass→glucose→FDCA→polymer material”. “This is a huge market, and every link in the industry chain can produce many companies with a market value of tens of billions of billions of dollars,” Guo Neng believes, “We look forward to working with our peers and upstream and downstream partners in the industry chain to help the country’s Contribute to the Two-Carbon Target.”