Dutch biotechnology company Avantium NV has been awarded €1.3m in funding by Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme to further advance its Dawn and Mekong plant-based technologies.
The funding is part of a €5.9m subsidy granted to the industry consortium “Vehicle”, consisting of eight European companies.
Coordinated by Amsterdam-based Avantium, the consortium is working on developing 100% plant-based chemicals produced from renewable raw materials.
The four-year project aims to widen the business and market opportunities of existing and future biorefineries by demonstrating the applicability of their sugar streams in several downstream options.
The role of Avantium in Vehicle is to provide sugar streams from non-food feedstock.
The sugar is produced through Avantium’s Dawn technology pilot biorefinery in Delfzijl, the Netherlands.
Avantium will also convert industrial sugars from the consortium partners into plant-based mono-ethylene glycol (MEG) through its Mekong technology.
MEG is a key feedstock for the manufacture of polyester (PET) resins, films and fibres. The Mekong technology involves a single-step process to produce MEG from industrial sugars.
Other consortium members include Swedish firm Ecohelix; Finland companies Kemira, Metgen Oy and Spinverse; Italy’s Novamont Spa, Spain’s Fundacio Universitaria Balmes (ES) and Graanul Biotech Ou in Estonia.
“The grant is a strong signal for Avantium and our partners in Vehicle to continue our mutual work to develop 100% plant-based chemicals, produced from renewable non-food feedstock,” said Zanna McFerson, managing director of Avantium Renewable Chemistries.