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Avantium Raises Funds for its YXY Technology to Develop 100% Recyclable Bio-based Polyester

Published on 2011-06-09. Author : SpecialChem

AMSTERDAM, the Netherlands -- Avantium has raised €30 million to advance its YXY technology for green building blocks. Avantium will use the funds for the construction and operation of its pilot plant in Geleen, the Netherlands, and for the development of green materials on basis of these YXY building blocks.

Avantium has completed a €25 million financing round with new investors Sofinnova Partners, Aster Capital and De Hoge Dennen as well as existing investors Aescap Venture, Capricorn Cleantech Fund, ING Corporate Investments and Navitas Capital. In addition Avantium has secured a subsidy and innovation credit, in total €5 million, from the Dutch Ministry of Economy, Agriculture and Innovation (EL&I). Part of the funding has been used to buy out shares held by DFJ Esprit, AlpInvest, Eastman, EDBI and Pfizer, aligning the company's shareholder base with its strategy.

Next-generation green materials

Avantium is building a pilot plant to demonstrate its YXY technology which enables the cost-effective production of Furanics building blocks for green materials and fuels. The pilot plant will also be able to produce larger volumes of YXY building blocks for application development of new, green plastics, chemicals and materials. This will facilitate the development and commercialization of Avantium's next-generation polyester: PEF. PEF is new to the world polymer that can be made out of plant material instead of oil. Avantium expects that PEF will become the green material to replace petroleum-based polyesters such as PET. Avantium has demonstrated that PEF has numerous superior properties when compared with PET, including lower permeability of oxygen, carbon-dioxide and water and an enhanced ability to withstand heat.

The YXY technology makes it possible to produce a 100% biobased, 100% recyclable polyester that can compete on price and performance with traditional materials such as PET. Avantium is actively working on the development of PEF bottles for beverages, food, cosmetic products and detergents. In parallel, Avantium is developing both PEF fibers, used for textiles and carpets, as well as other materials based on of its YXY building blocks, such as polyamides and coatings.

Tom van Aken, CEO, Avantium said, "We are privileged to welcome Sofinnova, Aster and De Hoge Dennen as new investors as we look to scale and commercialize our YXY technology. The strong support of our current shareholders and our ability to attract such reputable investors validate the potential of our technology and products. We are experiencing an overwhelming interest from consumer goods and industrial companies who wish to use our YXY building blocks for a broad range of applications, including PEF bottles for water, soft drinks and beer, PEF fibers for apparel and carpets, and engineering plastics for automotive and electronic materials. This funding will allow us to prove our process on a larger scale and to do application testing in collaboration with brand owners and industrial partners. We are also proud to have secured the support of the Dutch Ministry of EL&I for Avantium as part of their active promotion of the transition to a biobased economy".

Michiel de Haan, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Avantium and General Partner of Aescap Venture said, "This financing round represents a major strengthening of our investor base. We are extremely happy that new, high quality investors are joining us to build Avantium into a global technology leader in green building blocks, and would like to thank the departing investors for their historical role in the company".

Denis Lucquin, General Partner at Sofinnova Partners, who will join Avantium's Supervisory Board said, "We have found in Avantium a first class management team eager to drive the company on the forefront of world competition in bio-sourced plastics and materials. The uniqueness of Avantium's YXY technology provide them the opportunity to be the first company able to put on the market a fully bio-sourced polyester suitable for water and soft drinks bottling, representing a huge market. They will have many other applications as already shown through their collaboration with Teijin Aramid. We are very excited to be part of this new challenge".

About Avantium

Avantium is a technology company specialized in the area of advanced high-throughput R&D. The company develops and commercializes YXY -- its brand name for chemical building blocks for making green materials and fuels that can compete on both price and performance with oil based alternatives. Avantium has demonstrated the value and commercial potential of its unique technology and knowledge by collaborating with leading companies in the energy and chemical industries. Avantium has a global customer base for its profitable R&D services and systems offering, including market leaders such as BP, Shell and Sasol. Avantium offices and headquarters are based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

About YXY

Avantium has developed YXY (pronounced as icksy) - a family of green building blocks for making materials and fuels that can compete on both price and performance with oil based alternatives, but which have a superior environmental footprint. YXY is a patented technology that converts biomass into Furanics building blocks, such as FDCA (2,5-Furandicarboxylic acid). FDCA is the monomer that can be used for the production of the green polyester PEF (Poly-ethylene-furanoate). YXY is a solution for today's challenges, using carbohydrates as feedstock to enable the manufacture of products which are both green and sustainable. This production process is based on Avantium's catalytic technology. YXY can be implemented in existing chemical production assets. Avantium is collaborating with leading companies in the industry to develop and produce green materials and fuels based on YXY building blocks.

Source: Avantium

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