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Biorizon is a shining example of how the biobased economy can be accelerated by international cooperation in the region of the Netherlands / Flanders / North Rhine-Westphalia. 'This way we can use the innovative power that is present in the region. That is necessary, because by 2030 at least 15% of our chemical industry must be bio-based.'
Editorial office / 's Hertogenbosch

Emmo Meijer of the Top Sector Chemistry said this during the 5th Biorizon year event on 15 November in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. Arnold Stokking, Industry Director at TNO adds: “The transition that is to come is inevitable from a climate perspective. It is therefore important to take the initiative now to develop and actually deploy CO2-efficient and innovative bio-based technologies. ‘ Rapid scaling is therefore essential. This topic was central during the event: from lab and technology to installations and applications.

Successful trajectories

The three routes that Biorizon travels to make bio-aromatics (called horizons) are successful. Within the horizon thermochemical processes (the extraction of aromatics by pyrolysis and gasification) is gasification is already commercially available and the co-production of bio-aromatics lift accordingly. In the horizon Sugars to Aromatics (the synthesis of aromatics from sugars from domestic waste and sewage sludge) the pilot project is now fully deployed. The same applies to the horizon Lignin to Aromatics (the development of applications of bio-aromatics from lignin). To this end, the Lignin Application Center was opened at the Green Chemistry Campus in Bergen op Zoom at the beginning of this year.

Companies that already work with bio-aromatics are, for example, DOW and BTG. For example, DOW Germany produces aromatics from lignin LigniOx, a biobased replacement for superplasticizer that makes concrete stronger and more fluid. BTG in Enschede has been active with ‘fast pyrolysis’ for thirty years. This makes pyrolysis oil rich in aromatic compounds.

Looking back, Jan van Havenbergh, director of Catalisti, is amazed at how his organization was hesitant at first to take part in Biorizon five years ago. ‘That renowned parties such as TNO and VITO supported the initiative has persuaded us.’ Five years of interregional cooperation focused on bio-aromatics from different raw materials shows that Biorizon’s ambition to make commercial production possible comes closer.

Read the full report of the Biorizon event on the Agro & Chemistry website