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Anellotech to deliver kilogram-scale samples of biomass-derived benzene and toluene to partners for downstream development

Catalytic fast pyrolysis company Anellotech Inc. plans to make available kilogram-scale (e.g., 100 kg) samples of green benzene and toluene to strategic partners for downstream product development purposes before the end of 2013. Among its other applications, toluene is used as an octane booster in gasoline fuels.

Anellotech’s core technology—catalytic fast pyrolysis (CFP) for Biomass to Aromatics—is based on research performed in Professor George Huber’s research laboratory at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst (earlier post) and on process and catalyst developments by Anellotech. The company’s pilot plant operations are scheduled to commence in the second half of 2013.

These kilogram-scale development lots will provide sufficient quantities for qualification of Anellotech’s green aromatics as drop-in feed stocks for use in downstream conversion into a variety of valuable derivatives. This will provide early customer assurance that green plastics can be sourced from renewable aromatics produced from Anellotech’s CFP technology.

  • Benzene, a high volume industrial intermediate currently made from fossil fuels, hit an all- time high price in 2013. It is an important raw material in the production of several important industrial polymers including: ABS, styrene butyl rubber, nylon, polycarbonate, and polystyrene.

  • Toluene is used to make toluene diisocyanate (for polyurethane foam used in packaging), and as a solvent in a variety of applications. Toluene is also used as an octane booster in gasoline fuels.

  • CFP produces xylenes as well as benzene and toluene (“BTX”), and similar-sized xylene samples will also be made available.

Anellotech’s single step CFP process enables non-edible renewable biomass to be processed in a fluidized-bed reactor into aromatics, including benzene, toluene and xylenes (BTX). The CFP process pretreatment is simple drying and grinding.

It completes all chemical conversion steps in a single reactor and incorporates an economical Anellotech proprietary catalyst based on commercial zeolite catalysts commonly used in the refining and petrochemical industries.

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