Company initiatives, Presentation, Video

Zeachem looks at bio-propanol

Look at what I found! I have always been asking Zeachem what specific C3 chemicals they are looking into and now I have my (sort-of) answers from this slide presentation that Zeachem’s chief commercial officer Bob Walsh recently presented at BIO’s Pacific Rim industrial biotechnology and bioenergy summit.

In this presentation, Zeachem points to development of its C3 platform that includes propionic acid, ethyl propionate and propanol. These chemical building blocks can lead to the production of bio-based propylene. The blog previously posted recent activities on this market.

View this document on Scribd

Of course Zeachem is already producing its C2s — acetic acid and ethyl acetate at the company’s 250,000 gal/year demo facility in Boardman, Oregon.

When I had my interview with Zeachem early this year, the company said it plans to have a commercial 25m gal/year plant — they are hoping to start construction in 2013 — as soon as the demo plant has proven its design and metrics. Zeachem said back then that the biorefinery will be flexible enough to produce 100% cellulosic ethanol if needed or varying volumes of ethanol, ethyl acetate or acetic acid, whichever product is in demand.

The presentation did not indicate (unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend the Summit) when they will initially roll-out their C3 platform. I am assuming that the planned commercial biorefinery in Boardman will include the propanol stream as well.

By the way, Zeachem already has Procter & Gamble, Chrysler, Valero and Itochu as partners for its downstream chemicals development. I am sure, there will be more coming soon.

About Doris de Guzman

Will Green Chemistry save the world or is it hype? Doris de Guzman examines alternative processing, new technology, R&D and other sustainability initiatives aimed at preventing pollution; replacing ingredients; and using renewable feedstocks in Green Chemistry. She has been covering the oleochemicals market for 15 years and spread her beat to inorganics, biofuels and green chemistry.


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