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lunes, 13 de noviembre de 2017

Braskem and Haldor Topsoe to validate new bio-MEG production process in a demo plant

A new important partnership is pursuing the commercial production of monoethylene glycol (MEG) from renewable resources. MEG is one of the two monomers of the most important polyester currently (PET) and its global market represents a value of approximately 25 billion dollars. Bio-MEG is attracting increasing attention as key component of bio-PET.

In this context, MOnoSAccharide IndustrIal Cracker (MOSAIK™) is a solution for cracking of sugars to an intermediary product which can be further converted to MEG (or other chemicals) using Haldor Topsoe’s patented processes and catalysts. This solution uses only two simple steps to produce MEG from biomass and could compete on commercial terms with traditional production from fossil feedstock. MOSAIK™ is at the heart of the recent partnership between Braskem and Haldor Topsoe whose aim is to develop a pioneering route to produce MEG from sugar (see press release, 09/11/2017). In this way, Braskem wants to expand its portfolio of renewable products to offer new solutions that complement its biobased polyethylene marketed with the I’m green™ seal.

Figure 1. Haldor Topsoe’s site in Frederikssund (40 km from Copenhagen). The new demo plant will be located there.

The agreement calls for the construction of a demonstration plant. The companies will combine their expertise to further develop, test and validate the process. The following table summarizes some data about the future demo plant and the technology.
Acknowledgements: I would like to express my appreciation to Milica and Tore Sylvester Jeppesen (Business Development of New Chemicals and Materials at Haldor Topsoe) for providing me with additional information.

Haldor Topsoe’s site in the greater Copenhagen area (Denmark).
C5 and C6 sugars (monosaccharides).
The overall yield is constant but the product split between ethylene glycol and propylene glycol varies according to the feedstock.
Pretreatment can be necessary depending on the quality of the feedstock (trade-off between feedstock cost and processing cost).
Product and production capacity
Thousands of tons of MEG per year (based on continuous operation).
MOnoSAccharide IndustrIal Cracker (MOSAIK™).
1st step: Transformation of the sugars into smaller oxygenate molecules.
2nd step: Conversion of these intermediates to ethylene glycol and propylene glycol.
Heterogeneous catalyst: non-noble metal based catalyst.
Engineering and construction
Haldor Topsoe will be the overall responsible for engineering and construction.
Operation slated to begin in 2019.
The overall goal of the partnership is the start-up of a commercial plant in 2023.

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