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Anellotech, IFPEN and Axens partner on bio-aromatics production from non-food biomass; targeting 2019 for industrial implementation

Anellotech Inc., IFP Energies nouvelles (IFPEN) and its subsidiary Axens have formed a strategic alliance to develop and to commercialize a new technology for the low cost production of bio-based benzene, toluene and paraxylene using Anellotech’s process of Catalytic Fast Pyrolysis (CFP) of non-food biomass. (Earlier post.)

The technology will address large-scale units and produce purified aromatics streams suitable for modern derivative production processes at a very competitive price with respect to their petroleum-based counterparts.

Based on Anellotech’s innovative proprietary CFP technology, patents licensed from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and Axens’ proprietary post-treatment hydrotreating process, this new technology will open the way to a competitive production of bio-aromatics from renewable resources with lower energy consumption and lower CO2 emissions.

These drop-in green versions of widely used basic petrochemicals are utilized as raw materials in the production of consumer goods such as plastic bottles, clothing, carpeting, automotive parts, as well as other everyday consumer and industrial products.

The goal of this co-development alliance is to combine research and development with commercial scale-up knowledge and resources to achieve process development and commercialization of the CFP technology in the shortest possible time.

Within the alliance, Anellotech will continue its research work at the Pearl River facility on the clean technology platform for inexpensively producing bio-based aromatics from renewable non-food biomass. IFPEN will mainly focus on process scale-up and hydrodynamic studies at its Lyon site, France, and Axens will finalize development and basic plant design and prepare the technology for commercialization.

The partners expect that the technology will be ready for industrial implementation in 2019. Axens will market and license the technology globally and provide basic engineering design and start-up services while Anellotech, Axens and IFPEN conduct on-going research and development for continual process improvement and to support licensing efforts.

Anellotech developed a catalytic fast pyrolysis process for inexpensively and safely producing bio-based chemicals from renewable non-food biomass. In the process, biomass (wood, sawdust, corn stover, sugar cane bagasse (byproduct), and other non-food materials) is dried and ground. The biomass is rapidly heated, and the resulting gases are immediately converted into hydrocarbons by a proprietary, reusable, sand-like zeolite catalyst.

The resulting mixture of benzene, toluene and xylenes (bio-BTX), which are identical to their petroleum-derived counterparts, can be further purified and separated by using well-known commercial technologies at either grass-roots or existing petrochemical infrastructures. The company was founded in 2008; its R&D and corporate headquarters are located in Pearl River, New York.

IFP Energies nouvelles (IFPEN) is a France-based public research and training player. It has an international scope, covering the fields of energy, transport and the environment.

Axens is an international provider of advanced technologies, catalysts, adsorbents and services. The main scope of Axens’ business is focused on the conversion of oil, coal, natural gas and biomass to clean fuels as well as production and purification of major petrochemical intermediates.



This could delay mass production for many years.

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