Avantium, the Dutch forerunner in renewable chemistry, locates a new pilot biorefinery at Chemie Park Delfzijl, in the Netherlands. Avantium and chemical giant AkzoNobel have signed a contract for the pilot plant accommodation and the supply of various facilities and services. The pilot plant will validate the technical and economic feasibility of Avantium’s Zambezi process, which aims to convert woodchips and other second generation biomass into raw materials for the chemical industry. This is an essential step in scaling up the technology from lab to commercial operations.
The pilot plant is supported by the Groningen province and is expected to be operational in the second quarter of 2018 with Avantium’s Zambezi project on track. This milestone achievement will lead to the employment of approximately 20 people.
“Delfzijl – Tom van Aken, CEO of Avantium, said – is an excellent location for the ongoing development of our Zambezi technology. Beyond the pilot plant, the Chemie Park Delfzijl is a high consideration for the future construction of a commercial Zambezi biorefinery. This reference plant is currently being developed with our partners, AkzoNobel, Chemport Europe, RWE and Staatsbosbeheer. The Chemie Park Delfzijl offers all the necessities to operate our pilot plant through excellent collaboration with AkzoNobel and support from the Groningen province.”
“With this contract – Knut Schwalenberg, CEO of AkzoNobel Netherlands, added – we take a next step expanding the Delfzijl site from its traditional chemical production into biobased and green chemistry. The technology which Avantium brings to Delfzijl complements our own biobased projects on the site in support of the sustainable development of AkzoNobel’s Specialty Chemicals business.”
In February 2017, Avantium announced a partnership with AkzoNobel, Chemport Europe, RWE and Staatsbosbeheer for the development of a reference plant at the Chemie Park Delfzijl to convert woodchips to renewable chemical building blocks. This biorefinery will be based on a new technology that has been developed by Avantium. The Zambezi process aims for a cost-effective process for the production of high-purity glucose, lignin and a mixed sugar syrup from non-food, second generation biomass. The reference plant will predominantly use forestry residue sourced from the Netherlands.
Glucose is required for the manufacture of products including vitamins, enzymes and other biobased chemicals and raw materials. Lignin is an excellent feedstock for renewable energy and other applications, while the mixed sugar syrup is a good feedstock for the production of ethanol and other biofuels.