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ECN will incorporate its thermochemical research on the production of bio-aromatics within the Shared Research Centre Biorizon.
Editorial office / Bergen op Zoom

Today (1 december), TNO, VITO and ECN signed an agreement to collaborate during the Biorizon Year event on de Green Chemistry Campus in Bergen op Zoom. Biorizon works with industry on the technological development for the production of aromatics from biomass.

Now that ECN has joined the Shared Research Center Biorizon, the entire research area for the development of bio-aromatics is covered. The partners expect this to further boost its appeal to industry.

Development of bio-aromatics

Since 2013 the Dutch TNO and Flemish VITO have been working at the Green Chemistry Campus on technology for the development of aromatic production from biomass. TNO focuses on aromatics from sugars, as in organic waste. VITO is investigating bio-aromatics from lignin, the substance that gives wood its rigidity. Both TNO and VITO are working on functional aromatics; chemicals with specific properties that retain as much of the inherent functionality of biomass as possible and thereby may lead to a positive business case.

ECN will focus not only on thermochemical routes for the production of functional aromatics but also on routes for the production of bulk aromatics (BTX: benzene, toluene and xylene) to acquire the optimum synergy with existing industrial installations. The cascading principle is a key guiding factor here:

  1. In the production of biofuels and green gas bulk aromatics are selectively separated via gasification for use as chemical building blocks.
  2. In a second technology line pyrolysis is employed to extract aromatic compounds from biomass and biomass fractions that are then turned into functional aromatics.
  3. In addition, ECN will develop technology for the fractioning of biomass flows and concepts for the energy island in biorefinery processes.

See also: ‘ECN brings thermochemical aromatics production to Biorizon’ on the website of Biorizon.