PDC Newsletter no.4 – October 2015

Avantium plans first FDCA plant for PEF production using their YXY technology

Avantium has published that it is preparing for the construction of the world’s first commercial market introduction plant for FDCA (FuranDiCarboxylic Acid) from sugars based on its proprietary YXY technology. The FDCA will be combined with bio-based MEG to produce PolyEthyleneFuranoate (PEF), a next generation polyester with a blockbuster potential. PEF is 100% bio-based and has a high market potential as a future packaging material for instance in bottles and film due to its excellent gas barrier and other properties. Avantium has an FDCA pilot plant on the Chemelot site in Geleen (NL) for application and process development.

PDC has contributed to the YXY process development since 2009 using its conceptual design expertise and proprietary tool PROSYN™.





PDC supports Caloritum in the development of their unique and patented industrial chemical heat pump technology. At the Emerging Technology Competition 2015 of the famous London based Royal Society of Chemistry, Prof. Chris Stevens (UGent) and Wouter Ducheyne (Caloritum) won the first prize in the category Energy and Sustainability. The company Caloritum was founded in 2012 as a spin-off from the Ghent University.

Caloritum uses liquid polyphosphates and water, in analogy with adenosinetriphoshate (ATP) as used by nature to transfer energy in a cell. The heat pump is able to recover waste heat between 75-150 °C and upgrade this to substantial higher temperature levels even beyond 200°C! Economic valorization of waste heat is key to enable new energy efficiency improvements within the process industry. PDC can perform techno-economic feasibility studies for potential clients who are interested to apply this unique technology in their processes or utility systems.
For feasibility studies one can contact PDC – Evert van der Pol at vanderpol@process-design-center.com, tel. +31765301902.


PDC works with BIOeCON on ZnCl2 technology to produce 2nd generation sugars from biomass

PDC teamed up with BIOeCON (http://www.bioecon.com/bichemhome.html) to perform a techno-economic evaluation of their ZnCl2 hydrolysis technology to convert biomass into valuable sugar streams. The strength of the technology is the effectiveness of the cellulose hydrolysis, which due to the application of zinc chloride can be performed with shorter residence times without significant sugar degradation.
From their modern and well-equipped laboratory and pilot facility in Eindhoven, they work on the development and commercialization of this new technology. Next step is the demonstration of the technology in an industrial environment.



nl4-prosyn-coveragePROSYN™ development well on track

Since September 2010, PDC is working on modernizing its expert system PROSYN™, by using modern software development practices and infrastructure. As part of such effort, the system is continuously being tested completely automatically. Such automatic tests are being added incrementally by in-house users and developers, as well as interns (master students), and now we are glad to announce that they cover close to half of the source code, which in the particular case of a huge system like PROSYN™ is quite an achievement. The tests currently cover large parts of the reactors, (azeotropic) distillation, complex columns, membranes, physical properties, costing and manager expert systems.






PDC is often involved in large collaborative European research projects, where it performs the role of conceptual process designer for novel production routes. In the EU FP7-funded EuroBioRef project (2010-2014), among others, PDC looked into the utilization of existing processes as a way to shorten the time to market for bio-based fuels and chemicals. We reported the latter in Chapter 12 of the newly published book „Biorefineries“ edited by Michele Aresta, Angela Dibenedetto and Franck Dumeignil, see http://www.degruyter.com/view/product/210639

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