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Avantium signs contract with AkzoNobel for pilot biorefinery in Delfzijl

Avantium and AkzoNobel have announced the signing of a contract for a pilot biorefinery accommodation and the supply of various facilities and services at Chemie Park Delfzijl, the Netherlands.

Tom van Aken, Chief Executive Officer of Avantium.

Tom van Aken, Chief Executive Officer of Avantium.

Dutch renewable chemical technology company Avantium and AkzoNobel Netherlands, the Dutch arm of the global chemical industry major AkzoNobel, have announced the signing of a contract for a pilot biorefinery 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. The pilot plant will be located at the Chemie Park Delfzijl, a part of Chemport Europe and is supported by the Groningen province.

According to Avantium, the plant is an essential step in scaling up the technology from lab to commercial operations. It will lead to the employment of approximately 20 people and is expected to be operational in the second quarter of 2018 with Avantium’s Zambezi project on track.

Delfzijl 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, said Tom van Aken, CEO of Avantium in a statement.

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.

AkzoNobel, Avantium, Chemport Europe, RWE and Staatsbosbeheer have announced a partnership to deploy a biobased technology breakthrough (photo courtesy Avantium).

AkzoNobel, Avantium, Chemport Europe, RWE and Staatsbosbeheer have announced a partnership to deploy a biobased technology breakthrough (photo courtesy Avantium).

The 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.

With this contract, we take the 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, said Knut Schwalenberg, CEO of AkzoNobel Netherlands.

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