Origin Materials: bio-plastics breakthrough?

Origin Materials went public via SPAC in February-2021, as it was acquired by Artius Acquisition Inc at a valuation of $1.8bn. $200M is also secured from Danone, Nestle and PepsiCo, building on a packaging material (PET) partnership that goes back to 2016.

Its ambition is to use wood residues to create carbon-negative plastics, cost-competitively with petroleum products and capture a “$1trn market opportunity”.

Our patent analysis shows Origin has visibly been focused on 5-chloro-methyl furfural as a building block.  For example, CMF can be reduced to MF (loss of chlorine), further reduced to DMF (loss of OH) and then combined with ethylene to yield pX.

Hundreds of potential catalysts, solvents and conditions are suggested for each reaction in the patents.  This data-file outlines our understanding of Origin’s innovations and the key challenges for commerciality.

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