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Director Business Development
1014 BV Amsterdam
Over the past years Biorizon has developed three commercially promising technologies for the conversion of wood, sugars and lignin into aromatics. The cross-border project BIO-HArT, acronym in Dutch for “Biorizon Innovation and Upscaling of Renewable Aromatics Technology”, was set out in 2016 to scale up technology for the production of bio-aromatics from biomass. By the end of 2018 this must result in functioning bench-scale demonstrators and optimized processes with which samples can be provided to the industry on a kilogram scale. A consortium of 10 partners (among others Avantium) from industry and research organizations is working on the realization of these ambitious targets. More information on Biorizon: www.biorizon.eu.
By demonstrating the technology within this project on a larger scale, the confidence in the applicability of the technology on an industrial scale increases and the risk to invest diminishes. Simultaneously bio-aromatics will be produced in sufficient quantities to be able to start application development routes.
By mid 2017 several key milestones have been achieved illustrating already some of the successes of BIO-HArT:
- Protocols are established for bio-refining of several raw materials like Miscanthus, corn straw, flaxstraw, into sugars and lignin.
- Protocols (reaction conditions, processes, etc.) have been established and optimized for the conversion of wood, lignin and sugar fractions into target aromatic compounds.
- Pilot installations have been established along the complete chain for the bio-refinery of biomass, conversion and fractionation of obtained lignin and sugar fractions to aromatic compounds, in specific the following installations:
– 4 pilot installations for the bio-refining of lignocellulosic materials into sugars and lignin.
– A 2L reactor for the direct catalytic conversion of wood to a mixture of alkylfenols (the so-called “Lignin-first” technology). This reactor will be used to further optimize the reaction on kg scale and for the delivery of samples for evaluation in application.
– Two continuous process installations that perform several of the key reactions in the Diels-Alder approach from sugar based starting materials (Furans) towards aromatic compounds. BIO-HArT is now able to meet requests from companies for samples on multi-kg scale.
– A mini-pilot for a mobile nano-filtration unit for the 1) fractionation / purification of the alkylfenol mixture from the Lignin-first process and 2) the fractionation from the Crude Lignin Oil obtained from a catalytic depolymerization process.
- Samples of several aromatic compounds / fractions have been provided on 100g – 1kg scale for evaluation of their quality in a range of applications like coatings, resins, adhesives, lubricants, polyesters, and polyurethane applications.
This collaboration within the framework of OP-Zuid is focused on the development of an interregional campus eco-system and accompanying key-infrastructure for the conversion of renewable raw materials to biobased building blocks. Within the SCeLiO-4B project a testing-ground of affordable and broadly accessible infrastructure for biobased chemistry is created on the Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Geleen and the Green Chemistry Campus in Bergen op Zoom. The available equipment facilitates and accelerates research, scaling up and development of bioaromatics, lignin depolymerization products for fuel applications and platform chemicals and compounds with new functionality based on furfural and HMF. The research activities are supported by an education and training program and business development activities which offer entrepreneurs the opportunity to further grow their potential and move from laboratory to pilot plant scale. The establishment of a joint testing-ground will give an impulse to businesses and employment in Limburg and Brabant. The project officially started in May 2015 and will run for 4 years. Link to press release.
Avantium joins the ELCoREL consortium in which five academic and two non-academic institutions located in Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, Spain and Italy collaborate to train young researchers in all scientific and technological aspects of the conversion of renewable electricity into fuels and chemicals. Read more information at www.elcorel.org.