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Chemelot InSciTe in consortium for bio-aromatics

march 24, 2016

For the next 3 years Chemelot InSciTe, together with 9 partners, will work on the scaling up of technology for the production of aromatics from biomass in the cross-border BIO-HArT-project. By the end of 2018 this must result in functioning bench scale demonstrators that can produce samples for the industry on a kilogram scale. Besides that, the processes for the production of bio-aromatics will be optimized further.

Biorizon Innovation and Upscaling of Renewable Aromatics Technology
In Dutch, the acronym BIO-HArT stands for 'Biorizon Innovation and Upscaling of Renewable Aromatics Technology'. Over the past years Biorizon has developed three commercially promising technologies for the conversion of wood, sugars and lignin into aromatics. This project offers great opportunities for InSciTe’s Lignin RICHES project to connect with the Biorizon community and work together with partners in the Netherlands and Flanders.
 
Producing bio-aromatics from Lignin
In the BIO-HArT project, Chemelot InSciTe’s initiators DSM, Maastricht University and Eindhoven University for Technology work together with partners such as the University of Antwerp and VITO to upgrade lignin and the use of bio-aromatics in resins applications. First, InSciTe will work on the production of Lignin Crude Oil (LCO) from lignin. These chemical processes will be scaled up in the pilot plant at the Brightlands Chemical Campus. Installations in the pilot plant will be realized within the OP-Zuid project SCeLiO-4B. For additional conversion of the primary LCO into aromatic compounds for resins applications, separation technologies from VITO will be applied.
 
"The BIO-HArT-project is of great importance to be able to accomplish our final goal: enable commercial production of bio-aromatic by 2025", says scientific manager of Biorizon Jan Harm Urbanus.
 
The BIO-HArT-project has got 3 goals:

  1. Development of optimized procedures for chemistry and process.
  2. Realization of generic and multi-purpose bench scale demonstrators for the 3 technologies (wood, sugars and lignin to aromatics).
  3. Producing samples of sugars, lignin, furans, akylphenols, mono-, di- & tri-acids, functionalized phenols and other aromatic compounds. Subsequently, together with the industry applications will be developed on the basis of these samples.

Together with the industry the project results of BIO-HArT will be further developed and eventually they will be implemented in new value chains in which multiple feedstock suppliers, chemical companies and end users will be incorporated and in which existing and new production locations will be used.

Cross-border cooperation following the principle of open innovation
The development and scaling up of technology for the production of bio-aromatics is a major challenge that demands a lot in terms of knowledge, experience and facilities. That's why Dutch and Flemish companies, governments and knowledge institutions bundle their strengths, both within Biorizon and the BIO-HArT project. Together they form not only a part of the Biobased Delta, but also of the world's largest chemical cluster, the ARRR cluster (Antwerp-Rotterdam-Rhine-Ruhr).

In BIO-HArT, project coordinator and co-initiator of Biorizon TNO works together with VITO (also co-initiator of Biorizon), Avantium, Chemelot InSciTe, University of Antwerp, KU Leuven, Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant, Technical University Eindhoven, Maastricht University and DSM ChemTech Center. Furthermore a close cooperation will be established with feedstock suppliers, producers and processors of aromatics, end users, knowledge and education organizations and the private sector.

The BIO-HArT bench scale demonstrators will be realized at five different locations in the border region that complement each other optimally: the Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Geleen, the Green Chemistry Campus in Bergen op Zoom, the Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant in Gent, the Chem&Tech Campus in Leuven and Blue Gate in Antwerp. The accelerated establishment of value chains within this project will give an impulse to businesses and employment in South-Netherlands and Flanders.

Interreg
The BIO-HArT project is established by a contribution of the European Interreg V Flanders-The Netherlands program that stimulates innovation, sustainable energy, a healthy environment and the labor market by means of cross-border projects. On a total budget of € 6.085.445,38 Interreg contributes € 3.042.722,69 (50 %) and besides that the provinces of North-Brabant, Antwerp, East-Flanders and Flemish-Brabant offered additional funding. Thereby they make an important contribution to the further development of the Flemish-Dutch border region as a top location for the transition to a more sustainable, biobased economy and an efficient use of natural resources.

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