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Biobased 5-HMF advance

IFP Energies Nouvelles (IFPEN) and ResiCare, a Michelin Group operation, have co-developed a process for producing the platform molecule 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (5-HMF) from plant-based fructose using homogeneous catalysis. This follows ten years of laboratory research and joint industrial-scale work since the end of 2021.

Pilot-scale trials resulted in the production of 1.2 tonnes of 5-HMF. ResiCare has now validated the first samples in the manufacture of its adhesive resins. In parallel, Technip Energies has been awarded the contract to carry out a detailed design study, following a basic engineering study in 2022.

5-HMF can be used to replace products of fossil origin with biobased products in applications including adhesives and resins, plastic polymers, solvents and acids, amines and amides, fuels and fuel additives, pharmaceuticals, food and feed. It is non-toxic and producing it from fructose “could significantly reduce the impact on the environment and health”, IFPEN said.

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