Avantium, a leading chemical technology company and forerunner in renewable chemistry, announces a partnership with AkzoNobel, Chemport Europe, RWE and Staatsbosbeheer for the development of a reference plant at the Chemie Park Delfzijl.
This important step marks the next stage of a collaborative effort to determine the feasibility of a wood to chemicals biorefinery in Delfzijl.
Breakthrough technology: the Zambezi process
The new reference plant in Delfzijl will be based on a new technology that has been developed by Avantium. Known as this Zambezi process, the new technology offers a cost-effective process for producing high-purity glucose from non-food biomass such as forestry residue, pulp or agricultural by-products: so-called second generation feedstock. This breakthrough technology converts woody biomass into sugars and lignin. It is particularly suited for making the high purity glucose required to produce a wide range of biobased chemicals and materials for the chemical industry of tomorrow. Via both catalytic and fermentation processes, a new and expanding range of sustainable materials - think PLA, PEF, PBAT, PHA – may be derived from the glucose so produced. The lignin is an excellent feedstock for renewable bioenergy applications, as its energy content is significantly higher than that of woody biomass.
Partnership of strengths
The partners each bring their own strengths to the project, starting with the feedstock, throughout the supply chain to the end products. The main feedstock of the plant will be locally sourced forestry residue, coordinated by Staatsbosbeheer, the Dutch Forestry Commission. The planned reference plant builds on the strong synergies between the infrastructure, utilities and expertise available at the Delfzijl site of chemical giant AkzoNobel. RWE, a pan-European energy company with one of the largest power portfolios in the world, will supply feedstock and use bio-lignin residue from the Zambezi process for the generation of renewable energy. Chemport Europe, a burgeoning sustainable chemical cluster in the northern part of the Netherlands, brings strategic support from the Northern Netherlands Region working via a range of initiatives to facilitate the project. Further synergistic partnerships and collaborations are currently under development.
The partnership expects, together with the geographical, technical and logistical benefits of the Delfzijl area, to enable the cost competitive production that will help accelerate the roll out of the biobased economy. The reference plant will be constructed with an expansion-ready footprint enabling a rapid increase of capacity after demonstration.
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