USA: Renewable Aromatics and Fuels Anellotech Completes Commissioning of T-Cat-8 Pilot Plant

Editor: Alexander Stark

Anellotech announced the completion of the commissioning of its T-Cat-8 pilot plant, and the commencement of the critical development and testing program. The unit is designed to demonstrate the Bio-T-Cat (thermal catalytic biomass conversion) process in a fluid bed reactor with internal process recycle streams and continuous catalyst regeneration.

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Anellotech's TCat-8 development and testing unit for converting biomass to BTX.
Anellotech's TCat-8 development and testing unit for converting biomass to BTX.
(Source: Business Wire — Photo courtesy of Zeton Inc.)

Pearl River/USA — The pilot plant was jointly designed by Anellotech and Ifpen and is located in Silsbee, Texas on the plant site of South Hampton Resources (SHR). The process will use a novel catalyst under joint development by Anellotech and Johnson Matthey.

An integrated team of research engineers and technicians will now optimize process variables and generate data for process development and scale-up. Commercial Bio-T-Cat plant design and process licensing will be carried-out by Axens.

The sustainable technology company and its development partners will also develop next generation catalysts, evaluate loblolly pine and other sustainable bio-feedstocks, and confirm Bio-T-Cat’s process economics at commercial scale.

“We have made significant progress achieving major milestones with the commissioning of our T-Cat-8 pilot plant, including completion of multi-day long continuous test runs, and are now beginning the development phase for generating data necessary to advance Bio-T-Cat process commercialization. We will also produce test samples of bio-based renewable aromatic chemicals for conversion by 3rd parties into bio-based polymer prototypes,” said Dr. Charles Sorensen, CTO of Anellotech.

As an integral component in the bio-based value chain, the Bio-T-Cat technology cost-competitively produces “drop-in” renewable aromatic chemicals (benzene, toluene and xylenes, “BTX”) from non-food biomass, the company announced.

One such application is the use of bio-paraxylene for conversion to PET beverage bottles thereby enabling the production of 100-%-bio-based packaging. In addition to prototype paraxylene sample production for PET applications testing, the T-Cat-8 unit output will be used to make prototype test samples of benzene and toluene for conversion to polymer derivatives such as bio-based ABS, polycarbonate, polyurethane, and high performance engineered polymers for use by current and/or future strategic investor product development, corporate marketing, and sustainability programs.