The Netherlands: Mono-Ethylene Glycol Avantium Launches New Plant-Based MEG Demonstration Unit
Avantium’s new demo plant in the Netherlands will utilise the firm’s Ray technology to produce plant-based mono-ethylene glycol. With an annual capacity of 10 tonnes, the unit will also produce plant-based mono-propylene glycol.
Amsterdam/The Netherlands – Avantium has recently inaugurated its plant-based MEG (mono-ethylene glycol) demonstration factory in Chemie Park Delfzijl, the Netherlands, bringing to the industry yet another solution to reduce the reliance on fossil resources. The opening ceremonies were hosted by Nienke Homan, regional minister of the province of Groningen, the Netherlands and Avantium CEO Tom van Aken. The company additionally announced the name of its innovative technology – Ray Technology which is used to produce plant-based MEG.
The opening celebrates a significant milestone in commercialising the production of plant-based MEG, a vital ingredient in the production of polyesters widely used in textiles and packaging. Today, 99 % of MEG is produced from fossil resources representing a value of approximately 25 billion dollars. This market is expected to rapidly grow in the coming decades, providing a great opportunity for the introduction of plant-based MEG as part of the transition to a more renewable world.
In addition to its sustainability advantages, the production of plant-based MEG with Ray Technology is cost competitive to fossil-based MEG. The Ray Technology demonstration plant with an industrially relevant capacity of 10 tonnes annually will also produce plant-based MPG (mono-propylene glycol) which is used in a diverse set of industries such as cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, food flavouring, and deicing.
Avantium CEO Tom van Aken: “Avantium is proud to be the first company in the world to have brought three technologies to demonstration stage –our YXY Technology, Dawn Technology and now our Ray Technology. It truly demonstrates our ability to scale up and commercialise advanced technologies in the renewable polyester value chain.”
The end-to-end plant-based Ray Technology demonstration plant will cover all process steps in converting industrial sugars to glycols, allowing for the production of MEG and MPG samples that are representative of the final product from subsequent commercial-scale plants.
Zanna Mc Ferson, Managing Director of Avantium Renewable Chemistries, comments: “The opening of this demonstration plant signifies years of research and trials to achieve a significant step towards a commercial flagship plant, aimed for start-up in 2024. Commercial conversations are already ongoing with partners who see an economic opportunity with Ray Technology. We talk with feedstock providers who wish to diversify their markets, chemical companies who seek to enter a significant growth market and transition to a bio-based economy and consumer brands who are looking for plant-based solutions for their textiles and packaging.”