WEB EXCLUSIVE: Avantium in the Netherlands has signed its second major partnership for using its new catalytic process to convert plant sugars into furanic precursors for a new polyester bottle resin. Avantium (avantium.com) and Danone Research in France have signed a joint development agreement for development of bottles from polyethylene furanoate (PEF). Danone is number two in the global bottled-water business. In December, Avantium signed another PEF joint-development agreement with Coca-Cola Co. of Atlanta. PEF boasts higher heat resistance and barrier properties than PET (see January Starting Up). Avantium started up a PEF pilot plant capable of producing 80,000 lb/yr of PEF.