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ADM, DuPont Partner to Make Bio-Based Plastic from Corn

Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) and DuPont have jointly launched a pilot program to manufacture bio-based polymer packaging from corn, with the belief that the FDME (furan dicarboxylic methyl ester) material could replace fossil-fuel-based bottles and packaging.

A flagship product of the project from DuPont is “PTF” - a corn-based material that could reduce the plastic content in soda bottles by 25 percent, while maintaining a CO2 barrier that is 10 to 15 times better than traditional plastic.

The partners estimate that the pilot project will produce 60 tons of FDME per year - however, there are big plans in the pipeline for a first commercial production plant that will be 500 to 1,000 times larger than the pilot plant. And as it takes two pounds of fructose to produce one pound of FDME, the technology could be a boon for corn growers.

Although the companies state that the introduction of FDME into the supply chain probably won’t have as significant an effect as ethanol production, it does have the potential to be a game changer - and one which they plan to rapidly scale up.

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