By Prof. Dr. Gert-Jan Gruter - Chief Technology Officer Avantium Technology
A lot of attention has been focused on developing new technologies from non-fossil based resources for providing energy and chemicals, such as monomers for plastics and other materials. Although for energy, besides biomass, also other alternatives such as solar, wind, geothermal, etc. exist, for materials the only alternative resource is biomass. In the race to bring bio-based polymers to the market, two different strategies can be observed.
On the one hand, a lot of effort is directed to produce molecules that we already use today (drop-in) such as bio-based ethylene, propylene, para-xylene (terephthalic acid) and ethylene glycol. Many of the technologies under development use carbohydrates, typically C6H12O6 as starting material. However, it can be questioned if it makes sense to produce hydrocarbons such as p-xylene (C8; no oxygen) from glucose (C6; more than half its mass oxygen).
On the other hand, does it not make more sense to develop new monomers when changing from hydrocarbon fossil fuels to carbohydrate biomass? ‘New’ monomers such as lactic acid, succinic acid, furan dicarboxylic acid and others are examples of products under development by companies that selected the alternative approach, namely to develop new materials.
In the lecture, the pro’s and con’s of ‘drop-in’ versus ‘new’ will be discussed by evaluating the options to bio-PET and its alternative bio-PEF by zooming in on economics and into technical opportunities and challenges.
Process intensification and the partial replacement of fossil based resources by biomass-based and renewable resource form the basis for the Sustainable Chemistry Development. The integration of waste (including also waste gases as CO2 and H2) and wastewater management and technologies are key in the development of a sustainable World. This also is the basis of the Sewage Plus concept, a combined waste and wastewater treatment system leading to reduced energy consumption in water treatment and production.
Presentation file here
By Ir. Karin Husmann
The Chemical Industry in The Netherlands is constantly developing new products to meet the changing market demands. The petrochemical industry is the largest single industrial consumer of energy and must develop smarter and more efficient production methods.
But in-house R&D facilities may have restrictions or the company may lack the appropriate permit for the envisaged trials. As a result, the R&D process may take longer than planned.
Plant One operates a new pilot plant test facility in the Rotterdam-Rijnmond region.
Plant One offers all the facilities that may be needed. Plant One has an umbrella environmental permit (unique for The Netherlands), which means you don’t lose precious time waiting for a license.
New technologies to reduce energy and feedstock inputs or use alternative, cleaner feedstocks can be tested and demonstrated on pre-industrial scale.
With Plant One, the regional competitiveness will increase thanks to supporting commercial innovation. A facility of this kind is needed because companies are often engaged in round-the-clock production, leaving little if any scope for large-scale testing of new processes and technologies.
Presentation file here