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Valmet to deliver a pyrolyzer plant to France

Valmet to deliver a pyrolyzer plant to France
The contract was signed by Valmet and Circa representatives at the Valmet head office in Espoo, Finland – Bertel Karlstedt (left) from Valmet and Tony Duncan from Circa Group (photo courtesy Valmet).

Finland-headed forest industry and energy technology provider Valmet Oyj has announced that it has signed a contract with Norway-based sustainable biochemicals company Circa Group AS (Circa) to supply a pyrolyzer plant for the production of sustainable biochemicals at Circa’s ReSolute plant in France.

Circa’s proprietary “Furacell” process converts non-food biomass waste into advanced bio-based chemicals, including renewable bio-solvent “Cyrene” which is an alternative to traditional fossil-based polar aprotic solvents such as NMP, DMF, DCM, and DMSO.

Furthermore, the company’s developing product portfolio includes flavors and biopolymers. By creating renewable chemicals from cellulose, Circa is extracting value from non-food, surplus biomass and contributing to a more circular economy

ReSolute project

ReSolute is a EUR 23 million EU Horizon 2020 flagship project, coordinated by Association Industries et Agro-Ressources in France, to create bio-based levoglucosenone (LGO), a chemical building block that can be used to produce bio-based solvent Cyrene in one step.

Being built on a brownfield site, the Carling Saint-Avold platform site owned by TotalEnergies (previously Total) in northeastern France, the plant will produce 1 000 tonnes per annum of “Cyrene”.

Valmet’s delivery includes pyrolyzer technology, a circulating fluidized bed (CFB) boiler, and an automation system.

The equipment deliveries, the value of which has not been disclosed, are scheduled for the second and third quarters of 2023.

This order is a continuation of the cooperation agreement signed in May 2022. The long-term objective is to develop deployable modules with a capacity of 10–15 thousand tonnes per annum.

Our cooperation with Valmet has reached the first commercial milestone. We expect to continue the cooperation to reach our goal of producing 80 000 tonnes of Cyrene annually by 2030. Valmet’s concept for integrating the pyrolyzer and the energy production provides major savings in plant operating costs, said Tony Duncan, CEO of Circa Group.

Valmet’s delivery includes a Valmet Pyrolyzer system, a Valmet CFB boiler, and a Valmet DNA Automation system. The pyrolyzer system has a capacity of 2 tonnes dry solids per hour, and produces raw material for Circa’s further distillation and hydrogenation processing.

The CFB boiler, with a capacity of 10 MWfuel, produces energy for the pyrolyzer, the biomass dryer, and the distillation. The plant can produce its own thermal energy by utilizing pyrolyzer side product, biochar, in the CFB boiler.

The Valmet DNA automation system covers the whole plant enabling the optimization of the complete process.

We are actively developing technology to replace fossil raw materials with renewable ones. We are working with various applications for our pyrolysis technology. Together with Circa, we have tested the biochemical production process in various pilot trials. In this project, we have combined our experience in other thermal conversion processes with our know-how in automation. This is an excellent example of widening our product portfolio into new technologies, said Ari Saario, VP, Strategy, and R&D, Pulp and Energy, Valmet.

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