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Anellotech announces commercial plant engineering plans

US-based sustainable technology company Anellotech Inc. has confirmed "significant progress" in its Bio-TCat technology development program and has begun planning for scale-up design and engineering of a commercial plant with its process development and design partner IFPEN and commercialization, engineering, and licensing partner Axens.

Anellotech is pioneering an innovative manufacturing process to produce cost-competitive renewable chemicals and fuels from non-food biomass. Its 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.

Recently, Jacobs Engineering Group, a globally respected engineering firm, confirmed that the Bio-TCat process enables a carbon dioxide (CO2) emission reduction potential of 70-90 percent 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 yields and performance

According to Anellotech, “commercially-viable” process yields and catalyst performance has now been achieved at economic design conditions at Anellotech’s TCat-8 pilot unit in Silsbee, Texas. TCat-8 has demonstrated consistently stable operation of major process steps and recycle loops, with highly-accurate analytic confirmation.

These attractive results have been achieved with real-world commercial feedstock, loblolly pine recently harvested from Georgia forests. Anellotech’s MinFree pretreatment process, operational at multi-tonne 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 uninterrupted 24/7 runs. The TCat-8 unit operates inside a commercial chemical facility that is OSHA PSM compliant.

Our TCat-8 unit consistently demonstrates stable, economic performance as we continue to further optimize process conditions. 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, said David Sudolsky, President & CEO of Anellotech.

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