A new partnership announced between Origin Materials in California and Seoul, South Korea-based Kolon Industries is aimed at advancing the development and industrialisation of new, sustainable carbon-negative products based on Origin’s proprietary and patented technology platform. Kolon will bring its polymerisation expertise, application development and supply chain strength to the new collaboration.
In addition, as part of the partnership, Kolon has signed a multi-year capacity reservation agreement to purchase materials from Origin Materials.
While the initial focus will be on materials for automotive applications, the companies said the partnership includes co-development aimed at commercialising polyethylene furanoate - PEF - a novel polyester that can replace and even outperform PET on certain performance characteristics, including barrier properties, in packaging and other applications. PEF is a 100% recyclable, bio-based polymer produced using renewable raw materials -sugars- derived from plants. Kolon Industries has worked with furan resins for many years and has developed an expert knowledge of furan chemistry.
Origin Materials’ technology platform is expected to produce cost-competitive, sustainable, carbon-negative furandicarboxylic acid, known as FDCA, the primary precursor to PEF.
Working together, the companies plan to accelerate the deployment of environmentally sustainable products and create profitable, competitively advantaged business opportunities for each, they said.
“Origin is a pioneer and a global leader in carbon negative chemical technology, and Kolon Industries is a world leader in chemicals and polymers,” said Sung Han, Chief Technology Officer of Kolon Group. “Therefore, the collaboration between these two companies will ensure both carbon-negative and cost-effective sustainable polymer economy.”
“This partnership reflects both companies’ commitment to sustainable innovation,” added Bissell, Co-CEO of Origin Materials.
Over the past 10 years, Origin has developed a platform for turning the carbon found in inexpensive, plentiful, non-food biomass such as sustainable wood residues into useful materials while capturing carbon in the process. Next to offering replacements to fossil-fuel based materials, the technology platform is expected to provide stable pricing, as it is largely decoupled from the volatility of the petroleum supply chain.