Polyethylene Furanoate (PEF) Market: Bio-based Substitute for Polyethylene Terephthalate

  • Polyethylene Furanoate (PEF) is commonly called as the next generation polyester. It has the capability to replace polyethylene terephthalate (PET). PET is a durable polymer derived from conventional synthetic resources.
  • PEF is manufactured by polymerization of furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA) in the presence of ethylene glycol. FDCA is produced by using raw materials such as starch, sugar, and cellulose. These materials are extensively produced on the Earth.
  • The use of biomass feedstock can help save the depletion of fossil fuels. PEF offers superior barrier and thermal properties. Thus, it is an ideal material for a diverse range of applications. PEF is majorly used in the packaging industry for alcoholic beverages, fruit juices, milk, soft drinks, water, etc. 

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  • In the packaging industry, PEF offers better properties vis-à-vis conventional plastics. These include improved barrier properties for gases. This, in turn, leads to longer shelf life of packed products. PEF also offers higher mechanical strength. Led by these properties, PEF is a suitable material of choice for packaging applications.
  • PEF is primarily used in applications such as fibers, films, and bottles. Of these applications, bottles is the leading segment of the Polyethylene Furanoate (PEF) Market.
  • Rise in demand for packed drinking water is estimated to drive the Polyethylene Furanoate (PEF) Market in the near future. Rise in shortage of water around the world has boosted the demand for bottled water. In addition, growth in health concerns and rise in awareness related to the importance of safe drinking water for maintaining good health are expected to create lucrative opportunities for manufacturers of bottled water in the near future.
  • Increase in consumption of energy drinks and fruit juices owing to the growth in consumer awareness related to the benefits of these drinks and juices is expected to drive the bottles market. Presence of regulations on usage of polymer based products, such as polyethylene terephthalate has led to an increase in demand for PEF products. 

Major Drivers of Global Polyethylene Furanoate (PEF) Market

  • Increase in usage of bio-plastics and rise in demand for sustainable products among consumers are expected to drive the Polyethylene Furanoate (PEF) Market in the near future. Additionally, growth in awareness about the impact of plastic on the environment and the need of reduction of the dependency on fossil fuels are expected to create lucrative opportunities by the end of the forecast period. Furthermore, advancements in technologies coupled with the rise in innovations in the bio-plastics industry with improved properties and new functionalities are expected to drive the demand for bio-plastics in the near future. This, in turn, is fueling the Polyethylene Furanoate (PEF) Market.
  • Improved properties of PEF compared to PET offer better performance in existing applications, such as in carbonated soft drink bottles. In addition, PEF opens the door to new applications where PET properties do not suffice, like in smaller serving sizes and light weighting, and also for replacing other packaging materials like glass and aluminum cans.
  • Production of PEF from FDCA offers environmental advantages such as decrease in usage of non-renewable energy from 51% to 58% compared to PET
  • FDCA is made of renewable feedstock and is used in the production of polyethylene furanoate, which is a substitute for polyethylene terephthalate. This is anticipated to drive the Polyethylene Furanoate (PEF) Market in the near future.
  • Enactment of environmental legislations and direct intervention from governments and international bodies have augmented the demand for FDCA. FDCA is majorly used in the manufacture of PEF. This is expected to boost the demand for PEF by the end of the forecast period.
  • The biopolymers industry has been expanding at a significant pace due to various green initiatives, norms, and regulations regarding carbon emissions. This is boosting the adoption of biopolymers in place of petroleum-based polymers. 

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High Cost of Production to Hamper Polyethylene Furanoate (PEF) Market

  • Currently, the production capacity of biopolymers is significantly lower than that of conventional plastics. This hampers their substitution potential and increases the prices of final products. Price consideration is anticipated to be the primary factor hampering the Polyethylene Furanoate (PEF) Market. 

Asia Pacific Expected to Hold Prominent Share of Global Polyethylene Furanoate (PEF) Market

  • Geographically, the global Polyethylene Furanoate (PEF) Market can be split across five regions: North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa
  • Increase in government initiatives and rise in investments in bio-based products in countries in Asia Pacific are key factors propelling the demand for PEF in Asia Pacific
  • China, India, Thailand, and Indonesia are estimated to lead the Polyethylene Furanoate (PEF) Market in Asia Pacific, due to the presence of a large number of manufacturers of FDCA in these countries. Therefore, these countries are highly attractive in terms of production of PEF.
  • The Polyethylene Furanoate (PEF) Market in Europe and North America is expected to rise at a significant pace by the end of the forecast period, owing to the presence of regulations on polyethylene, polyethylene terephthalate, polystyrene across these regions. Increase in demand for bio-based products and rise in number of regulations on the usage of petroleum-based feedstock are projected to boost the demand for FDCA in the near future. FDCA is used to manufacture PEF. This is boosting the Polyethylene Furanoate (PEF) Market in Europe. 

Key Players in Polyethylene Furanoate (PEF) Market

The global Polyethylene Furanoate (PEF) Market is dominated by few players, who held the major share of the market. Key players operating in the PEF market include:

  • Avantium N.V.
  • ALPLA Werke Alwin Lehner GmbH & Co KG
  • TOYOBO CO., LTD.
  • The Coca-Cola Company
  • Mitsui & Co., Ltd.
  • WIFAG-Polytype Holding AG
  • Gevo, Inc.
  • Toray Industries Inc.

Avantium N.V. is engaged in the manufacture of PEF through its partner Synvina C.V., which aims to become a global leader in the manufacture of FDCA and PEF. Currently, Synvina C.V. manufactures FDCA at its pilot plant located in Geleen, the Netherlands. Synvina C.V. polymerizes FDCA to PEF externally at its partner’s facilities. 

Global Polyethylene Furanoate (PEF) Market: Research Scope 

Global Polyethylene Furanoate (PEF) Market, by Application

  • Bottles
  • Films
  • Fibers

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  • North America (U.S. and Canada)
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