In New York, Anellotech and IFPEN/Axens engineers completed a successful continuous performance test of the TCat-8 pilot plant as part of unit commissioning in Silsbee, Texas. The test involved continuous injection of MinFree woody biomass feedstock and production of BTX and other valuable chemical by-products.
The primary objectives of the test were met by demonstrating steady control and operation of the reactor, stripper, and regenerator fluid bed systems with continuous catalyst circulation at design pressures and temperatures.
Additional tests are planned to complete the commissioning phase and then commence process development studies to acquire data for commercial scale-up and design of the process.
The technology is scheduled to open at commercial scale in 2019. Clock is ticking, exciting stuff.
Another Masked Investor
At th same time, it was revealed in SEC paperwork that Anellotech has acquired a new $0.8 million investment from an unnamed partner. Anellotech confirmed that it was a new strategic investor but, characteristic of the tight-lipped company, did not reveal details.
We previously speculated that Zorro was in the mix. Given the speed of ctalytic pyrolysis, the presence of transformative energy science, and the the mask worn by the investor — we’ll identify this one for now as Barry Allen, The Flash.
The Anellotech backstory
Toyota: Let’s Go Places with Anellotech, Bio-places that is
Thermal catalytic biomass conversion: The Digest’s 2017 Multi-Slide Guide to Anellotech
Why it matters
Anellotech’s Bio-TCat process is designed to produce cost-competitive renewable aromatic (BTX) chemicals (benzene, toluene and xylenes) from non-food biomass for use in making plastics such as polyester, nylon, polycarbonate, polystyrene, or for renewable transportation fuels.
The key differentiators
There are two.
First, the MinFree biomass pretreatment .
The MinFree technology reduces mineral (ash) content of biomass feedstocks, thereby enabling economic catalyst lifetimes. “This is a breakthrough innovation for the industry and vital to technological success” said Anellotech CTO Chuck Sorensen. “It opens up the possibility to use many types of low-cost biomass feedstocks that contain high levels of well-known catalyst poisons. MinFree technology represents a major step forward, enabling the cost competitiveness of Anellotech’s biomass conversion process.”
It’s free of a lot of things besides Min — namely, it’s free of association with the various pretreatment schemes that have elsewhere sunk or damaged a number of early-stage cellulosic ventures — while at the same time, allow the venture to stay away from costly (If renewable) sources of conventional sugars.
Second, the one-reactor catalytic process. The Bio-TCat reactor outlet hydrocarbon product requires only mild hydrotreating to remove trace impurities using existing oil refining technology. As opposed to multi-step pyrolysis processes that make a highly-oxygenated bio-oil intermediate product which requires costly high pressure hydrogenation and additional refinery upgrading.
There are several in the mix. IFPEN is the process development and scale-up partner, Johnson Matthey is the catalyst development partner, and Axens is the partner for industrialization, commercialization, global licensing and technical support.
Strategic partners in the BTX supply chain, including Suntory and Toyota Tsusho have provided capital to Anellotech. And we are left to wonder about the identity of the third.
Reaction from the stakeholders
“Being able to operate the unit continuously this early in our commissioning program is a significant achievement, especially considering the complexity of its various recycle loops at a pilot scale.” said Chuck Sorensen, Anellotech CTO. “This operating milestone is the outcome of three years of collaborative design, project management, construction, and start-up work by Anellotech’s R&D team, IFPEN, Axens, Johnson Matthey, South Hampton Resources, and other key advisors”.
“Thank you to all Anellotech and IFPEN/Axens employees for the hard work and long hours spent commissioning this unique pilot reaction system,” stated David Sudolsky, Anellotech President and CEO. “I’d also like to acknowledge our Pearl River, NY team for their efforts developing the MinFree biomass pretreatment process which is a key enabling technology for converting low cost biomass into sustainable chemical products. Together with our development partners, we are looking forward to a successful process development and commercialization scale-up program.”
Conversion of Loblolly Pine into BTX as Unit Commissioning Nears Completion
Files Form D with SEC for $0.8 million equity investment
Pearl River, New York & Silsbee, Texas – May 25, 2017 –About Anellotech
For additional information, please visit: http://anellotech.com/
5/25/2017 Anellotech Confidential until published p. 3
For further information contact:
David Sudolsky Anellotech Inc.
+1 (845) 735 7700