The Competitive Edge: AVA Biochem AG

April 10, 2019 |

AVA Biochem AG

Q: What was the reason for founding your organization – what was the open niche you saw that could be addressed with a new product or service? What was the problem, or gap, or opportunity?

5-Hydroxymethylfurfural (5-HMF, CAS 67-47-0) derived from sugars is the link between biomass and furan-based chemicals. With its various functional groups and associated reaction sites, this small molecule opens the door to a wide range of chemical modifications, which makes 5-HMF a versatile renewable building block.

5-HMF is a building block for many chemicals such as FDCA/FDME which will be used for PEF and other bioplasics. In addition, 5-HMF is able to replace the toxic and carcinogenic formaldehyde in resins. 5-HMF is also used as natural flavour and API.

Q: Tell us about your organization. What do you do?

We are the biggest producer of 5-HMF, a building block for many chemicals such as FDCA/FDME which will be used for PEF and other bioplastics.

The AVA Process is the most economical process forming 5-HMF is large scale production

AVA has 20 experts headquartered in Zug/Switzerland with a full demonstration plant in Muttenz/Basel.

Q: What stage of development are you?

AVA Biochem runs a small industrial scale demonstration plant in Muttenz (Switzerland) where 5-HMF is produced in different forms (aqueous solution and crystals). We are currently planning the next scale production plant at a capacity of 5’000-10’000 t/y which will allow us to offer 5-HMF in aqueous solution at economical viable prices.

Q: What do your technologies, products or services do and accomplish – how does it (they) work, who is it (they) aimed for?

Our innovative, water-based process converts renewable feedstocks to valuable bio-based chemical building blocks. These non-toxic building blocks can replace harmful formaldehyde in many applications and serve as precursors of a variety of bio-based high-performance polymers.

Due to the efficient use of renewable feedstocks, AVA Biochem’s technology contributes to a circular economy at a significantly reduced carbon footprint.

Q: Competitively, what gives your technology, product or service set an edge in cost or performance, sustainability, or any other aspect, that makes it stand out from the crowd, In short, what makes it transformative?

Our technology platform is revolutionary in allowing commercially viable levels of production of 5-HMF.


Q: What are the 3 top milestones you have accomplished in the past 3 years?

  1. Standardization and freeze of process. Proof of reproducibility
  2. Strengthen of team with industrial and technological know-how
  3. Setup of diverse collaborations (e.g. joint development agreements) with leading companies covering the whole value chain

Q: What are the 3 top milestones you will accomplish in the next 3 years?

  1. Reach certification and supply of 5-HMF replacing Formaldehyde in a resin of a large public company.
  2. Basic Design for a 5kta plant.
  3. Building this plant.

Q: Where can I learn more about AVA Biochem AG?


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