The Competitive Edge: BioBTX : Biofuels Digest



Q: What was the reason for founding your organization – what was the open niche you saw that could be addressed with a new product or service? What was the problem, or gap, or opportunity?

Most chemical building blocks, platform chemicals originate from fossil sources. Especially for aromatics, no sustainable production route was available at start of BioBTX. Market size for BTX is 100M tons/year, still growing, with value of over U$100B/y. There is an increasing demand for biobased and/or sustainable production of all chemicals. Since BTX represent the basis for ~40% of all chemicals, there is an urgent need to find alternative, non-fossil-based routes to BTX.

Q: Tell us about your organization. What do you do?

BioBTX develops sustainable, economical technologies to BTX (benzene, toluene, xylenes) and other aromatics. BioBTX has for that purpose developed the so-called Integrated Cascading Catalytic Pyrolysis technology, a novel form of ex-situ catalytic pyrolysis. This technology allows processing of large variety of waste product mixtures to achieve high levels of aromatics, i.c. BTX.

Q: What stage of development are you? 

Pilot stage – proven at small, non-integrated scale

Q:What do your technologies, products or services do and accomplish – how does it (they) work, who is it (they) aimed for?

BioBTX has developed the so-called Integrated Cascading Catalytic Pyrolysis technology, a novel form of ex-situ catalytic pyrolysis. This two step-process, i.e. pyrolysis followed by direct catalytic conversion of pyrolysis vapors, gives high yields of aromatics, especially BTX. By separation of the pyrolysis from the catalytic conversion to aromatics, the catalyst lifetime, activity and selectivities are increased compared to in-situ catalytic pyrolysis, while the feed flexibility has widened, thus allowing processing of large variety of waste product mixtures.

Examples of sustainable feeds are liquid biomass (crude glycerin fatty acids, oils), solid biomass (agricultural waste streams, palm kernel shells, wood, etc.) and all kinds of (mixed) waste plastics streams.

Q: Competitively, what gives your technology, product or service set an edge in cost or performance, sustainability, or any other aspect, that makes it stand out from the crowd, In short, what makes it transformative?

  • High Flexibility in feeds, biomass and end-of-life materials
  • Low carbon footprint, process overall energy positive
  • Economically attractive
  • Direct drop-in chemical products
  • High carbon efficiency
  • Alternative for incineration or landfill
  • Valorization of all products
  • Integrated process of proven technologies (pyrolysis, catalysis)
  • Modularity
  • Scalable

Q: What are the 3 top milestones you have accomplished in the past 3 years?

  1. Successful installation and operation of pilot plant for liquid biomass.
  2. Securing financing for setting up organization and making next step in process development.
  3. Attracting parties in value chain to demonstrate technology and proof concept.

Q: What are the 3 top milestones you will accomplish in the next 3 years?

  1. Pilot plant for processing solid feedstocks, like mixed plastics and solid biomass.
  2. Partnering with additional industrial parties to commercialize technology.
  3. Solid business case for first commercial plant.

Where can I learn more about BioBTX?

Click here to visit BioBTX’s website.

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