7 Juli 2011

Solvay and Avantium to jointly develop green engineering plastics

Companies to make a range of compositions containing Avantium's YXY building blocks

Solvay and Avantium announced today that they have entered into a partnership to jointly develop a next generation of green high-performance polyamides for engineering plastics. The partnership combines Solvay’s leading position in specialty polymers and Avantium’s YXY technology for producing building blocks for green materials.

The companies will work together to explore the commercial potential of engineering plastics on the basis of YXY building blocks. Through the partnership, new high-performance polyamides will be developed that are produced using renewable, bio-based feedstock. Solvay and Avantium target a next generation of polyamides with new properties that can serve a range of applications. Price and performance of the polyamides will be key drivers for the success of the project.

The companies will make a range of compositions containing Avantium’s YXY building blocks. Subsequently, Solvay Specialty Polymers will test these polyamides for engineering applications in areas such as automotive and electronic materials. Solvay and Avantium have entered into a multi-year, exclusive collaboration towards commercialization of the new polyamides.

“We are very happy to be able to look at the potential of YXY building blocks in specialty polyamides together with Avantium”, said Antoine Amory, in charge of renewable based chemistry developments within the newly created Innovation Center of Solvay. “Avantium’s success in making such building blocks available through a unique manufacturing route is an essential key step that opens up new opportunities in the field of specialty polymers which we are impatient to explore.

“We are excited about our collaboration with Solvay. The polyamides we will develop together will become another novel and exciting outlet for our YXY building blocks,” said Tom van Aken, CEO of Avantium. “Solvay’s expertise in the field of polyamides is very important to understand the polyamides we will focus on and bring them closer to commercial applications. This agreement is another important step to explore high-value added applications for our YXY building blocks, in addition to work we are already doing in a complementary polyamide area.”

Solvay is a Group active in Chemistry since 1863, firmly committed to sustainable development, and offering a broad range of products and solutions that contribute to improving quality of life. It is a global leader in specialty polymers, vinyls, essential and specialty chemicals. Avantium is a research and technology company that is unlocking a new generation of biobased chemical building blocks, under the brand name YXY (~icksy).

About YXY
Avantium has developed YXY (pronounced 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 Furanic building blocks, such as FDCA (2,5-Furandicarboxylic acid). YXY is the perfect solution for today’s challenges, using carbohydrates as feedstock to enable the manufacture of products which are both green and sustainable. This fast and cost-effective 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. See www.yxy.com for more information.

About Solvay
SOLVAY is an international industrial Group active in Chemistry. It offers a broad range of products and solutions that contribute to improving quality of life. The Group is headquartered in Brussels and employs about 16,800 people in 40 countries. In 2010, its consolidated sales amounted to EUR 7.1 billion. Solvay is listed on the NYSE Euronext stock exchange in Brussels, Belgium (NYSE Euronext: SOLB.BE – Bloomberg: SOLB.BB – Reuters: SOLBt.BR). Details are available at www.solvay.com.

Solvay Specialty Polymers, which represents approximately 15% of the Solvay Group’s total sales (approximately 1.1 billion EUR in 2010), is the benchmark for discovering, developing and delivering high-performance specialty polymers that meet the challenges facing society, today and in the future. Headquartered in Bollate, Italy, its activities employ over 2500 people across 26 locations throughout North and South America, Asia and Europe. Solvay Specialty Polymers makes more products with more performance than any other polymer company in the world. The company manufactures over 1500 products across 33 brands of high-performance polymers – fluoropolymers, fluoroelastomers, fluorinated fluids, semi-aromatic polyamides, sulfone polymers, aromatic ultra polymers, high-barrier polymers and cross-linked high-performance compounds – for use in Aerospace, Alternative Energy, Automotive, Healthcare, Membranes, Oil & Gas, Packaging Plumbing, Semiconductor & Display, Wire & Cable, and other markets.

About Avantium
Avantium is a leading 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 is headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Mariëtte Hoogendoorn (Avantium)
phone: +31 20 586 8010

Source: Joint press release of Solvay and Avantium, 2011-07-07.


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