Anellotech’s MinFree™ technology, an innovative, patent pending biomass pretreatment process has been demonstrated to significantly reduce the mineral (ash) content of loblolly pine at a 20 metric ton/day scale. Month-long trials converting this MinFree™-treated, low-mineral pine into aromatics (BTX) at Anellotech’s Bio-TCat™ process TCat-8® pilot plant showed extended, economic catalyst life.
MinFree™ is expected to provide similar results with other woody biomass like eucalyptus and hard woods, and agricultural residues like cotton straw, sugarcane bagasse and corn stover. Anellotech is in discussions with feedstock suppliers and other participants in the supply chain to select the next feedstock for development and commercialization with the MinFree™ process.
“We have successfully validated loblolly pine – David Sudolsky, Anellotech’s President & CEO, said – and with our partner Axens have begun engineering work for a commercial plant. We now want to move forward to develop the next feedstock(s) for use in the Bio-TCat™ process. We look forward to working with other feedstock growers as partners to assess and commercialize abundant feedstocks for conversion to valuable chemicals and fuels.”
MinFree™ also has application in the bioenergy sector. The MinFree™ process removes high levels of mineral elements from agricultural residues which could cause fouling, erosion and corrosion, enabling the use of residues as economical feedstocks in addition to wood pellets.
Anellotech is a technology company focused on commercializing innovative production of cost-competitive renewable chemicals and fuels from non-food biomass. Founded in 2008, Anellotech has raised US$80 million in cash and in-kind contributions to date. “Its patented Bio-TCat™ technology – the US company claims – is an efficient thermal catalytic process for converting biomass into BTX aromatics (a mixture of benzene, toluene and xylene) which are chemically identical to petroleum-based counterparts”. High purity benzene, toluene and xylenes are used to make commodity polymers such as polyester (polyethylene terephthalate or “PET”), polystyrenes, polycarbonates, nylons and polyurethanes which are used to manufacture plastic consumer goods such as beverage bottles, food packaging, clothing, footwear, carpeting, automotive and electronic components.