Sustainable technology company Anellotech has shown promising results in its Bio-TCat technology development program and plans for the scale-up design and engineering of a commercial plant with its process development and design partner IFPEN, as well as commercialisation, engineering, and licensing partner Axens.
Anellotech’s intent is to produce cost-competitive renewable chemicals and fuels from non-food biomass. The company’s patented Bio-TCat thermal-catalytic technology produces a mixture of benzene, toluene, and xylene (BTX) which can be used to make important polymers such as polyester, polycarbonate, and nylon, or high-octane gasoline blendstock.
Engineering firm Jacobs recently affirmed that the Bio-TCat process potentially reduces CO2 emissions by 70-90% when compared to petroleum-derived equivalents. Co-product gas streams from Bio-TCat can be used to make significant amounts of renewable electricity, hydrogen or cellulosic ethanol using third party technologies.
Commercially-viable process yields and catalyst performance has been shown at Anellotech’s TCat-8 pilot unit in Silsbee, Texas, with fairly stable results.The process involved real-world commercial feedstock, loblolly pine recently harvested from Georgia forests. Anellotech’s MinFree pretreatment process, operational at multi-ton scale, has been used to ensure low mineral content in the TCat-8 feedstock which is critical for catalyst performance.
TCat-8 has operated for over 2,000 hours with continuous catalyst circulation including a fluid bed reactor, catalyst stripper, catalyst regenerator, quench tower, and recycle compressor. The pilot plant is operating mass balance closures of 100% (±2%), and regularly completes 24/7 runs. The operations take place inside a commercial chemical.
“Our TCat-8 unit consistently demonstrates stable, economic performance as we continue to further optimize process conditions,” said David Sudolsky, President & CEO of Anellotech.
“These advancements come from the dedicated and coordinated efforts of Anellotech, IFPEN and Johnson Matthey engineers and scientists. We are excited to begin commercial plant engineering activities with our partner Axens and open up engagement with potential partners for investments and locations for the first commercial plant.”
Sudolsky will be speaking at the European Forum for Industrial Biotechnology & the Bioeconomy (EFIB) Conference in Toulouse, France, on October 17 2018.