Zug, Switzerland – AVA Biochem AG has entered a joint-development agreement with Michelin to commercialise a process for converting industrial sugars into a bio-based molecule.
The deal centres on the Zug, Switzerland-based company’s patented, water-based process for the conversion of industrial sugars into 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (5-HMF).
The product is said to offer a non-toxic alternative to certain petroleum-based chemicals in applications such as yarns, films, bottles and other packaging, as well as resins and adhesives,
The latter application would likely be of most interest to Michelin, which along with other tire makers is seeking to replace formaldehyde in tire cord adhesives.
The partners aim to establish the world's first commercial-scale production plant for 5-HMF, and leverage its performance, environmental sustainability and non-toxicity in commercial applications.
“The collaboration with Michelin represents a powerful opportunity to develop eco-friendly industrial products.” said Peter Achermann, chairman & co-Founder of AVA Biochem.
AVA Biochem’s ambition is to become a “key provider of sustainable chemicals solutions and worldwide licenses to industrial and consumer goods groups,” added Achermann.
The collaboration “demonstrates the ability of AVA Biochem to “master their new process,” stated Christophe Rahier, Michelin senior VP, strategy and new businesses high tech materials.
Michelin, he said, will contribute to the Swiss partner’s know-how in the industrialisation and evaluation of the performance of these products in different applications.
The link-up also shows “Michelin's growing interest in "green chemistry", in line with our sustainable development strategy and our vision of tomorrow's mobility," added Rahier.