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Avantium collaborates with four industry experts to convert wood into a biochemical.

Posted on Feb 28, 2017 8:49:00 PM

Avantium, one of our industry’s leading Avantium Chemicals Reference Plantchemical technology companies is frequently featured on our pages as they present new innnovations and an increasing focus on commercialisation. Now, their latest breakthrough in the bio-economy is the development of their new reference plant at the Chemie Park Delfzijl in the Netherlands. Whilst this project is being led by Avantium, they have also announced their partnership with AkzoNobel, Chemport Europe, RWE and Staatsbosbeheer. Together, it has marked an important step to determine the feasibility of a wood to chemical biorefinery in Delfzijl. The new reference plant will be based on a technology recently industrialised by Avantium. The breakthrough process known as the Zambezi process has developed technologies to produce sugars for the production of chemicals and fuels from non-food materials. These include forestry residues and agricultural byproducts such as corn stover or bagasse: so called second generation (2G) feedstocks. Now it requires the support and expertise from new divisions of the biochemical industry.

Avantium's ( @Avantium ) Zambezi process aims to establish a cost-effective method for the production of high-purity glucose. The breakthrough technology converts woody biomass into sugars and lignin. It is particularly suited for making high purity glucose required for the production of a wide range of bio-based chemicals and materials for the chemical industry of tomorrow. This glucose is suitable for both catalytic and fermentation processes for the production of a new and growing generation of sustainable materials (such as PLA, PEF, PBAT, PHA). The lignin is an excellent feedstock for renewable bioenergy applications, as its energy content is significantly higher than that of woody biomass.

Who’s involved?

  • Chemport Europe ( @ChemportEurope ) is an agricultural and chemical businesses, knowledge institutions, and regional and national governments work closely together to capitalise on opportunities that are created by market demand for sustainable products and processes. The Northern Netherlands strives to develop Chemport Europe into an important green port with one of the most sustainable chemical clusters in Europe by 2030.
  • Akzo Nobel ( @AkzoNobel ) creates everyday essentials As a leading global paints and coatings company. Their portfolio includes well-known brands such as Dulux, Sikkens, International, Interpon and Eka. 
  • RWE Generation is a pan-European energy company with one of the largest power portfolios in the world, with over 40 GW of generating capacity. The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of RWE AG.  RWE Generation brings together the international expertise and experience of RWE Generation NL, RWE Generation UK and RWE Power to form one company which provides our clients with power 24/7.
  • Staatsbosbeheer ( @staatsbosbeheer ) is committed to its continuing development as a vital public enterprise and to strengthening the position of nature in the Netherlands. As a leading national public body, our focus continues to be directed towards enhancing the green heritage of our country.

For your chance to hear from other chemical experts in the industry like Capricorn, Total and DAB find out more about our Bio-Based Live Europe event in partnership with the University of Amsterdam. 

Partnership of strengths

Each partner brings their core strength to the project; from feedstock, throughout the supply chain to end products. The main feedstock of the plant will be locally sourced forestry residue coordinated by Staatsbosbeheer. The planned reference plant builds on the strong synergies of the infrastructure, utilities and expertise of the AkzoNobel site in Delfzijl. RWE will supply feedstock and use bio-lignin residue from the Zambezi process for the generation of renewable energy. Chemport Europe 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 rapid increase of capacity after demonstration.

For other chemical updates taking place in the industry you might want to read:

Could a PhD student have the breakthrough technology to reduce the price of biochemicals?

A bio-based coating has created a greener way to paint trains.

AkzoNobel collaborates with Itaconix to “explore opportunities” for bio-based polymers.

Global Bioenergies swoop for Dutch conversion technology start-up Syngip.

Leaf Resources join forces with Novozymes to enhance the production of glycell.

Topics: BBWNChemicals, ProcessRefining&Plants

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About the Author

Emily O'Dowd
Emily O'Dowd
On graduating with a degree in English Literature at Royal Holloway University of London, Emily joined the editorial team. When she isn't writing articles for the website or interviewing experts in more