Demo plant for bio-based MEG in the Netherlands / Start-up due in 2019 / European Innovation Council selects “Mekong” technology for investment
Dutch renewables company Avantium (Amsterdam; www.avantium.com) has started construction of a demonstration plant based on its “Mekong” process to produce bio-based MEG from renewable sugars. The demonstration unit will allow Avantium to scale up and validate the technology’s technical and economic feasibility and to collect data for an environmental life cycle analysis that will quantify the sustainability benefits of the process. The plant will be operational in 2019 and employ up to 20 people.

“This is a major step forward in the development of our Mekong technology,” said chief development officer Zanna McFerson. “In addition to the environmental benefits, this demonstration plant will replicate commercial-scale conditions of producing cost-effective bio-MEG; a drop-in product identical to the fossil-derived product. We are exploring partnership opportunities in bringing this technology to full-scale commercialisation globally.”

Avantium said that currently more than 99% of MEG is produced from fossil resources. Demand is expected to grow from 28m t/y to 50m t/y in the next 20 years.

The technology has also been chosen by the European Innovation Council (EIC) as part of its EUR 146m investment into top-class innovative projects. The EIC, which was launched this year under the European Union’s research and innovation programme “Horizon 2020”, will provide funding of EUR 2.7 bn between 2018 and 2020 to breakthrough, market-creating innovations.

Separately, Avantium is nearing completion of a biorefinery pilot plant in Delfzijl / The Netherlands for its “Zambezi” technology. The process produces high-purity glucose and lignin from non-food biomass.

In October 2016, the Dutch group formed a joint venture with BASF (Ludwigshafen / Germany; www.basf.com) called Synvina to commercialise polyethylenefuranoate (PEF) and its bio-based feedstock furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA). The jv is building a 50,000 t/y FDCA reference plant at BASF’s site in Antwerp / Belgium based on Avantium’s fructose-based “YXY” technology – see Plasteurope.com of 11.10.2016.
06.07.2018 Plasteurope.com [240083-0]
Published on 06.07.2018
Avantium: Demonstrationsanlage für Bio-MEG im BauGerman version of this article...

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