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Bioenergy Technologies

Drax pilot first bioenergy carbon capture and storage plant in Europe



Drax has announced the commissioning of an ‘innovative’ Bioenergy Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) pilot plant. It expects that within the next few weeks the first carbon dioxide will be captured and converted into biomass.

If the pilot is successful, the six month project should capture a tonne of CO2 per day from the gases that are produced by the plant. The gases are converted from the renewable power that is generated using biomass from Drax’s power station in North Yorkshire, near Shelby.

Drax state that BECCS is vital to global efforts to combat climate change. The technology will mean that gases that cause global warming will be removed from the atmosphere at the same time that electricity is produced. Power generation could start to reduce the carbon that accumulates in the atmosphere and Drax deem this vital to be able to tackle climate change.

A partnership with Leeds-based C-Capture has meant that Drax is investing £400,000 (€452,160) in the first pilot project to be carried out at the power station that will deliver a rapid, lower cost demonstration of BECCS.

CEO of Drax Group Will Gardiner said, “Our BECCS pilot project is the UK’S first step to delivering a key technology in the fight against climate change. If this project is successful, it could enable Drax to become the world’s first carbon negative power station.”

He continued, “At Drax we want to create a low carbon future – to do that we have to test the technologies that could allow us, as well as the UK and the world, to deliver negative emissions and stat to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.”

The Energy & Clean Growth Minister, Claire Perry has said that the project is a “major milestone developing cutting-edge technology to reduce emissions while growing the economy shows our modern Industrial Strategy in action.”

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Project development and finance

Build a PLAnet™ for sustainable bioplastics



Three major process technology and equipment specialists, Futerro, Sulzer and TechnipFMC, have formed the PLAnet™ initiative in equal partnership to promote the production of sustainable plastics made of Poly-Lactic Acid (PLA). The strategic collaboration will support manufacturers interested in entering the bioplastic market by delivering integrated PLA technology packages.

PLA is a versatile bio-based and biodegradable polymer that can replace petroleum-based plastics in a wide range of applications. Different stages are required to convert sugars from crops into lactic acid, lactide and subsequently PLA.

Futerro, a well-established technology provider for lactic acid and lactide production, and Sulzer Chemtech, a leading specialist in separation and mixing technologies have over 25 years of experience in lactic acid and PLA’s related processes. Together they have further shown their commitment to facilitate the production of bioplastics by establishing a partnership with TechnipFMC, a leading global EPC contractor with experience in technology development and licensing with fast growing activities in bioplastics and green chemicals.

The agreement between the three parties offers to agricultural, chemical and fiber industries, a fully integrated package addressing the whole PLA value chain. In this way, customers can benefit from direct access to state-of-the-art, customizable solutions for all the aspects and stages of PLA production. PLAnet™ offers the possibility of a “one-stop shop” for customers interested in PLA production by providing a single point of contact and responsibility.

In particular, PLAnet™ supports the construction of plants of any size, including PLA facilities with a throughput of up to 100’000 tons per year – that permit manufacturers to save both capital expenditures (CAPEX) and operating expenses (OPEX) by providing for integrated and optimized plant section design.

Within the PLAnet™ partnership, Futerro’s proprietary technology focuses on the production of lactic acid and raw lactide from sugar or, directly, from biomass; Sulzer contributes the process for the purification of lactide and its polymerization to obtain PLA while TechnipFMC acts as technology integrator to deliver seamless and optimized Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) packages.

The promotion of greener alternatives to traditional plastics needs to be backed by suitable technologies that enable the industry to produce high-quality bioplastics in an efficient manner. We can make this possible via the PLAnet™ partnership between Futerro, Sulzer and TechnipFMC by leveraging our world-leading technologies, expertise and skills for the entire PLA value chain.


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Ag products and services

Pöyry awarded Owner’s Engineering Services assignment by Biozin Holding



Finland-headed forest and energy industry consultancy major Pöyry PLC has announced that it has been awarded the Owner’s Engineering Services assignment for the pre-engineering phase by Biozin Holding AS for its planned “biozin” production plant in Norway. The new plant will convert biomass to liquid biocrude that will be sold and further processed into transportation fuels in oil refineries. The work is scheduled to be carried out between 2018 and 2020.

According to Pöyry, the production of “biozin” will be based on the proprietary IH2 technology licensed to Biozin Holding by CRI/Criterion Catalyst Company Ltd. The IH2 technology is an efficient cost-effective technology to convert woody biomass and forest residues feedstock into renewable, low carbon, clean-burning hydrocarbon transportation fuels.

Biozin Holding AS is owned by Biozin AS, a subsidiary of the Norwegian sawmill company Bergene Holm AS. Biozin AS and the Swedish oil company Preem AB have entered into a cooperation agreement with the intention to realise a full-scale biozin production plant located adjacent to the Bergene Holm AS sawmill in Åmli in southern Norway.

A production plant will consume about 700 000 m3 of feedstock and produce 120 000 m3 biozin, a biocrude that will be refined into normal transportation fuels. Preem AB will purchase biozin from the plant, for further processing and distribution.

The sustainable by-product biocarbon from biozin production can be applied in a variety of applications. The project’s total cost is expected to be approximately NOK 3.5 billion (≈ EUR 357.6 million). The ambition is to establish more production facilities in Southern Norway.

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Engineering and constructıon

S2G BioChem to build biorefinery demo plant in Sarnia



S2G BioChem (S2G), has announced that it has started work on the company’s first standalone biorefinery demonstration plant that it intends to build in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. Construction of the CA$ 20 million project, that will use S2G’s patented process to produce xylitol from C5 sugars, is estimated to begin in 2018.

Vancouver, Canada-based S2G BioChem (S2G), a developer of natural biotechnology conversion processes, has announced that it has started work on the company’s first standalone biorefinery demonstration plant that it intends to build in Sarnia, Ontario.

The commercial-scale facility will refine local, sustainable forestry and agricultural residues using its patented process to produce the lowest-cost and highest-value food ingredient xylitol available on the market today while co-producing value-add bioglycols for a new generation of consumer, industrial and packaging and products.

Xylitol is a natural, low-calorie sweetener, offering high sweetness, excellent flavour, oral health benefits and 1/5 the glycemic index of table sugar, enabling healthier snacks and food products. Bioglycols (EG & PG) are sustainable drop-in replacements for petrochemicals that can be used to make numerous everyday products such as packaging, lotions, liquid detergents, deicing fluids and antifreeze.

Multistakeholder funding

The biorefinery demonstration plant, projected to cost CA$20 million, will be funded by S2G and a network of investors and partners, including previously announced support from food giant Mondelēz International. Funding will be provided by Bioindustrial Innovation Canada’s (BIC) Commercialization of Sustainable Chemistry Innovation Fund (COMM SCI), which acts as a hub for the commercialization of sustainable chemistry and bio-based innovation, providing business and technical support to participating SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises).

COMM SCI was established with support from the Federal Economic Development Agency of Southern Ontario’s Investing in Regional Diversification Initiative.

The S2G facility is considered a major advance in biorefinery development in Canada. It will have the capacity to produce over 2 000 tonnes per annum of high-value xylitol and coproducts utilizing a range of feedstocks from forestry and agricultural residues. Basic engineering for the facility is underway and construction is expected to begin in 2018. The build-out and operation of the facility is projected to create 13 permanent jobs with more required during construction and testing.

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