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Anellotech successfully produces kilogram-scale green BTX

With the successful start-up of its Pearl River pilot plant, Anellotech, a company focusing on producing low-cost green versions of petrochemicals, is now able to meet its commitment to provide BTX developmental quantities for evaluation by a number of strategic partners who invested in the development of the process. At the pilot plant, the company is now producing kilogram-scale BTX directly from non-food biomass such as palm wastes, bagasse, corn stover, and even wood feedstocks.

Anellotech is the developer of a thermochemical process for making aromatics directly from non-food biomass. Using its proprietary catalyst, Anellotech's single step CFP (catalytic fast pyrolysis) process enables biomass to be converted in a fluidized-bed reactor into commercially viable aromatics, principally benzene, toluene and xylenes (BTX). The CFP process pretreatment is simple drying and grinding. It completes all chemical conversion steps in a single reactor and incorporates an economical Anellotech proprietary catalyst based on commercial zeolite catalysts commonly used in the refining and petrochemical industries.   

The company's Pearl River pilot plant commenced successful initial operations in December 2013, an important milestone that the company committed to in March 2013. The BTX will be used by current partners in their downstream development initiatives, and for future partners to support their due diligence activities.  According to David Sudolsky, founder and chief executive officer of Anellotech all partners are in the Aromatics Value Chain.

Anellotech's focus on developing renewable products that are less expensive to manufacture than their identical petroleum-derived counterparts looks to be paying off.  "In fact, depending on the oil price, we expect to be substantially lower cost," said Sudolsky.

The green aromatics products are "drop-in" replacements for petroleum-derived aromatics and have use in a variety of valuable derivative applications. These uses include benzene for production of polystyrene, styrene butyl rubber (tires), nylon, polycarbonate, and phenolics; toluene to make polyurethane; and para-xylene, for production of PET bottles and fibers.

"Production of kilogram-scale quantities of BTX is an important step in demonstrating the technical viability of the CFP Process, which completes all chemical conversion steps in a single reactor," said David Sudolsky, founder and chief executive officer of Anellotech, Inc.

If all goes according to schedule, Anellotech expects to start up its first commercial plant in 2019-2020.

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