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Denmark: Sugar-to-Biochemicals Solution Braskem and Haldor Topsoe Partner for MEG Demonstration Plant

Editor: Alexander Stark

Braskem and Haldor Topsoe team up to validate the 'Mosaik' sugar-to-biochemicals solution for the production of MEG (monoethylene glycol) in a demonstration plant. The new partnership accelerates the development of this solution that forms the basis for a growing portfolio of bio-based chemicals produced through patented processes.

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Bio-based MEG can be used for polyester fabrics and PET plastic bottles.
Bio-based MEG can be used for polyester fabrics and PET plastic bottles.
(Source: Haldor Topsoe)

Lynby/Denmark — Catalysis will be as essential in the sustainable production of chemicals from renewable feedstocks as it has always been in the production from fossil fuels. And in the near future, innovative processes along with customized catalysts and equipment could make chemicals from biomass a real commercial opportunity for producers. One such example is Topsoe’s Mosaik solution.

“Our customers in the chemical industry deal with challenging market conditions on a daily basis. We intend to show that chemicals from biomass can be a commercially attractive option, even in a tough, mature market such as thermoplastic resins,” said Kim Knudsen, Executive Vice President at Haldor Topsoe.

The aim of the partnership between the two companies is to develop a pioneering route to produce MEG from sugar. MEG is a key component of PET plastic used for food packaging, especially bottles, and polyester fabrics. The global MEG market represents a value of $ 25 billion.

With the agreement, Braskem wants to expand its portfolio of renewable products to offer new solutions that complement its bio-based polyethylene marketed with the I’m green seal. “With this new partnership, we strengthen our position as protagonists in the development of innovative solutions that will leverage the competitiveness of different biomasses and complement the traditional solutions offered by the petrochemical industry,” said Gustavo Sergi, director of Renewable Chemicals at Braskem.

The agreement calls for the construction of a demonstration plant in Denmark, with operation slated to begin in 2019. Topsoe will deliver a packaged solution for this project with Braskem, including catalyst and technology. The companies will combine their expertise to further develop, test and validate the process. The overall goal of the partnership is the start-up of a commercial plant in 2023.

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