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Origin Materials Develops Furan Platform Based on Chloromethyl Furfural (CMF); Robin Gibson Joins as Director of Business Development

[June 24, 2020] – Origin Materials, a United States and Canada-based material development company founded in 2008, today announces its commitment to the commercial manufacture of the versatile, sustainable chemical 5-chloromethyl furfural (CMF), as well as the appointment of Dr. Robin Gibson as Director of Business Development. Origin has developed a proprietary biomass-to-chemicals production process based on furan chemistry, allowing the conversion of lignocellulosic plant-based carbon into chemical building blocks CMF and hydrothermal carbon (HTC), as well as furfural and levulinic acid, through simple, economical, single-step chemo-catalysis.

5-chloromethyl furfural is a highly flexible raw material for many chemistries including para-xylene, purified terephthalic acid (PTA), and polyethylene terephthalate (PET), as well as numerous commodity and specialty chemicals through its derivatives, including furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA). At commercial scale, Origin’s process produces CMF with a highly carbon negative cradle-to-gate footprint.

“I joined Origin Materials because I'd spent years in the chemical industry looking for sustainable solutions to chemical industry problems,” says Dr. Gibson. “You can find many technical solutions that are sustainable, but very few make sense economically. Origin’s technology turns chloromethyl furfural into a disruptive, important molecule with an incredibly wide range of applications in commodity and specialty chemicals. Now, because of Origin’s unique process technology, the carbon footprint of the CMF produced is highly negative and, critically, represents a chemical platform that is very cost competitive with the incumbent petrochem supply chain at scale. It’s an incredibly exciting package.”

“Robin’s deep experience in the chemical industry, combined with his passion for bringing sustainable, economical chemistries to market, make him an ideal fit for Origin as we advance our mission to help the world’s companies decarbonize,” says Origin Materials CEO John Bissell.

Dr. Gibson, who joined Origin Materials in 2020, brings with him 30 years of chemical industry experience, having been responsible for global business development across a wide range of chemical product types and markets working for internationally recognized market leaders and leading international teams. Dr. Gibson received his PhD from the University of Birmingham, England, where his work focused on sugar and carbohydrate synthesis.

About Origin Materials

Origin Materials is a chemical technology company helping the world’s companies decarbonize. Origin is headquartered in California with a facility under construction in Ontario, Canada. Origin’s technology produces building-block furanic intermediates from biomass. Furanic intermediates can be used to make a variety of products including polymers, surfactants, plasticizers, carbon blacks, activated carbon and more. For more information visit or contact Robin Gibson may be reached at