Bio-aromatics technology developer, Anellotech, along with its engineering partner, IFPEN/Axens, announced late last month that it has 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(tm) woody biomass feedstock and production of BTX and other chemical by-products. The objective is to demonstrate steady control and operation of the reactor, stripper and regenerator fluid bed systems with continuous catalyst circulation at design pressures and temperatures.
This operating milestone is the outcome of a 3-year collaboration in design, project management, construction and start-up work with IFPEN, Axens, Johnson Matthey, Southampton Resources, and other key advisors of Anellotech.
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.
Anellotech also noted it received a $0.8m equity investment from a new, confidential strategic partner, raising the company’s total equity and R&D funds to $3.2m since its last funding update in October 2016.
The Bio-TCat process enables production of aromatic chemicals, benzene, toluene and xylenes (BTX) from non-food biomass. Bio-TCat co-products, C9+ aromatics and carbon dioxide can also be used to make jet and ethanol biofuels, respectively, via 3rd party technology. The key advantage of Bio-TCat according to the company is its MinFree biomass pretreatment followed by a one-reactor catalytic process. The reactor uses mild hydrotreating to remove trace impurities using existing oil refining technology.