Pearl River, New York – Anellotech has initiated the critical development and testing programme at its TCat-8 pilot plant following the successful completion of the commissioning process. The plant is designed to generate bio-based benzene, toluene and xylene samples for polymers including polyurethane, polycarbonate, ABS and PET.
The next step is for a team of research engineers and technicians from Anellotech and development partner Ifpen to optimise process variables and generate data for scale-up. Plant design and process licensing will be carried out by Axens. In collaboration with Johnson Matthey, next generation catalysts will be developed, and sustainable biofeedstocks such as loblolly pine evaluated.
The TCat-8 unit, located in Silsbee, Texas, is designed to demonstrate the Bio-TCat (thermal catalytic biomass conversion) process in a fluid bed reactor with internal process recycle streams and continuous catalyst regeneration. It will use a novel catalyst jointly developed with Johnson Matthey.
‘We have made significant progress achieving major milestones with the commissioning of our TCat-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-TCat process commercialisation,’ said Charles Sorenson, Anellotech’s CTO. ‘We will also produce test samples of bio-based renewable aromatic chemicals for conversion by third parties into bio-based polymer prototypes.’