Thursday, October 14, 2010

Fuels, Chemicals, Plastics, and More from Biomass

Smart producers are planning for multiple revenue streams from their investments in biomass to biofuels. By integrating the production of high value chemicals, plastics, and other products into the mix, these companies can achieve profitability earlier, and hedge their revenue streams from slowdowns in individual sectors.
Avantium, which spun off from Shell in 2000 to develop furan-based biofuels and biomaterials, has begun construction of a pilot plant at the Chemelot site (Geleen, the Netherlands) to convert carbohydrates into furanic building blocks—which the company calls “YXY”—for making renewable materials and fuels. Furanics are heteroaromatic compounds derived from the chemical intermediate HMF (hydroxymethylfurfural, C6H6O3).

The pilot plant is expected to become operational in the first quarter of 2011 and marks a major milestone in the commercialization of Avantium’s technology. The plant will produce several tons of YXY building blocks per year to support product development.

...The Chemelot site in Geleen, the Netherlands offers services and a specialized chemical infrastructure to the industrial producers, among others DSM and Sabic.

YXY (pronounced “ixy”) is a patented technology that converts biomass into Furanics using Avantium’s catalytic technology. YXY can be implemented in existing chemical production methods. _GCC
A look at 2007 testing of furanal fuels by Avantium

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