Green aromatic chemicals come closer to commercial reality

By: 
February 03, 2015

Anellotech Inc. and Johnson Matthey Process Technologies have announced an alliance to co-develop advanced catalyst systems for Anellotech's Catalytic Fast Pyrolysis (CFP) Process for the production of biobased benzene, toluene and paraxylene for the chemical industry.

Founded in 2008, Anellotech is an emerging leader in developing new technologies to create low-cost, green biobased chemicals from non-food biomass. Johnson Matthey Process Technologies is a division of Johnson Matthey Plc and a leading global supplier of catalysts, licensed technologies and other services to the petrochemical, syngas, oil refining and gas processing industries. For Johnson Matthey, the partnership offers an opportunity to extend its portfolio of biobased catalysts and process technologies for the production of chemicals from renewable feedstocks, according to Geoff Otterman, division director of Johnson Matthey Process Technologies.

The two partners will collaborate in three major areas: on the technical development of an optimal catalyst for Anellotech's CFP Process; for the supply of high-quality catalysts manufactured for use in the testing and development of the CFP Process, and to manage subsequent commercial implementation.

David Sudolsky, president and CEO of Anellotech, called the strategic alliance with Johnson Matthey Process Technologies "a major advance in Anellotech's program to provide the most competitive biobased route to basic aromatic chemicals" and "one more significant step in making biobased basic chemicals a commercial reality."

Anellotech's newly developed 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 styrene butyl rubber (tires), nylon, polycarbonate, and phenolics; toluene to make polyurethane; and para-xylene for production of PET bottles and fibers.

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