Pilot plant & patent pending
Recently, BIO-HArT partner InSciTe announced that next month it will start to operate its new pilot production unit at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus. This unit will be used to convert biological residual flows and waste into high-quality products. The plant houses several pilot plant units, also for the InSciTe Lignin RICHES project, that is part of Biorizon’s BIO-HArT project.
Vertoro will be the first user of the new unit. Vertoro, a spin-off from the TU Eindhoven, that is based on the results of the Lignin RICHES project, will be producing oil from both wood and lignin at the plant.
This biobased oil, which is called crude lignin oil (CLO), will, much like fossil crude oils, as a platform product for fuels, chemicals and materials. The CLO applications phenol and resins will be evaluated by the University of Maastricht (UM) as part of the InSciTe Lignin RICHES project. The CLO applications marine fuel and octane boosters will be explored by Progression Industry in an ongoing OPZUID project (Scelio-4B), in which parts of Lignin RICHES are also embedded. The patent applications that describes both the lignin to CLO process, the composition of CLO, and various CLO applications can be found in the online patent database.
The cross-border project BIO-HArT, acronym in Dutch for “Biorizon Innovation and Upscaling of Renewable Aromatics Technology”, was set out in 2016 to scale up technology for the production of bio-aromatics from biomass, focusing specifically on woody biomass sources. By 2019 this must result in functioning bench-scale demonstrators and optimized processes with which samples can be provided to the industry on a kilogram scale.
By demonstrating the technology within this project on a larger scale, the confidence in the applicability of the technology on an industrial scale increases and the risk to invest diminishes. Simultaneously bio-aromatics will be produced in sufficient quantities to be able to start application development routes.
Consortium of 10 partners
A consortium of 10 partners from industry and research organizations is working on the realization of these ambitious targets.
The BIO-HArT bench scale demonstrators will be realized at five different locations in the border region that complement each other optimally: the Green Chemistry Campus in Bergen op Zoom, the Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant in Gent, the Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Geleen, the Chem&Tech Campus in Leuven and Blue Gate in Antwerp. The accelerated establishment of value chains within this project will give an impulse to businesses and employment in South-Netherlands and Flanders.
Profitable and sustainable prospects for the chemical industry
Aromatics are one of the main raw materials used by the chemical industry: 40% of all chemicals are aromatic by nature. Aromatics are currently extracted from oil, which leads to the emission of CO2. The Biorizon Shared Research Center, initiated by TNO, VITO and Green Chemistry Campus, together with partners develops technologies to extract aromatics from plant residues. This reduces dependency on oil, leads to lower CO2-emissions, and provides profitable and sustainable prospects for the chemical industry and the supply industry.