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Recently, TNO’s Energy Transition Unit (former ECN) has joined Shared Research Center Biorizon at the Green Chemistry Campus in Bergen op Zoom, an incubator for upscaling sustainable materials and chemicals for the building and packaging industry. Now, all three horizons (research lines) of Biorizon are represented on the Campus, which also functions as Biorizon’s headquarters. Here, Biorizon initiators TNO and VITO are continuously expanding their state-of-the-art equipment to scale-up the production of functionalized bio-aromatics.

Biorizon Shared Research Center aims to enable commercial production of bio-aromatic building blocks by 2025. Since 2013, Biorizon initiators TNO and VITO have been developing the technologies for the production of bio-aromatics, both at their research facilities in Delft, Petten and Mol (Flanders), and in the Campus’ demo facility. At the moment, this demo facility hosts a number of impressive equipment that is used to scale-up the production of functionalized, renewable aromatics. A brief selection:

  1. The PYRENA-PYPO equipment of TNO’s Energy Transition Unit (former ECN) is a continuous pyrolysis pilot unit consisting of a 5-10 kg/h (input basis) pyrolyzer, with a closely coupled unit for fractionated recovery of the pyrolysis vapours. The technology uses an innovative downstream cascade approach to obtain different fractions with high potential for applications related to biofuels and biobased materials. Furthermore, all the surrounding analytical equipment is installed to characterize the full process chain, from feedstocks to products.
  2. TNO’s biomass to bio-aromatics lab hosts a continuous flow Diels-Alder skid, a condensation skid, a biphasic reactor and a 20l batch reactor. Please take a look at the virtual reality model of this biomass to bio-aromatics lab.
    Biorizon’s Continuous Flow Diels-Alder Skid enables production of bio-aromatics samples on the multikilogram per day scale. This demonstrator is highly flexible – feed chemicals, reactor configuration, and process parameters can all be broadly altered, enabling access to a vast array of bio-aromatics and their precursors. In this way Biorizon fulfills the desire of industry to supply kilogram scale samples for application testing.
  3. On the Campus, VITO works on lignin-based polymer synthesis and characterization. Labs have been established to fully characterize the polymers, both thermo-mechanical and chemical characterization. To determine processability and end-use performance, VITO uses a rheometer to measure materials, from low viscosity liquids to stiff solids in terms of viscosity, modulus, and elasticity or damping. In close collaboration with the industry this has resulted in different materials for a range of applications such as coatings, adhesives, sealants and foams that can be applied by different markets.

Currently, VITO is upscaling the production of lignin derived building blocks by catalytic depolymerization to 10 kg/h. By the end of 2021, this LignoValue pilot facility will be ready in Flanders. The time to develop applications is now, with an outlook of tons scale availability within the next years! On Biorizon’s website a comprehensive overview of all Biorizon facilities, samples, projects and calls for participation is available.

Since 2013, Biorizon Shared Research Center, an initiative of TNO and VITO, has been co-creating technologies for the production of bio-aromatics at the Green Chemistry Campus in Bergen op Zoom. Together with its industrial partners, Biorizon creates and develops innovative chemical processes for the production of renewable aromatics from residual biomass.

Aromatics are important building blocks for the chemical industry: no less than 40% of chemicals are aromatic, and they bring essential functionalities such as durability and thermal and UV stability to products including plastics, resins and coatings. Bio-aromatics provide new functionalities and an impactful and green alternative to current petrochemical products that are difficult to re-use or recycle, including paints, adhesives and lubricants. Biorizon’s aim is to enable commercial production of bio-aromatic building blocks by 2025.

More information & contact
Are you interested in testing Biorizon’s samples in your products and developing sustainable new applications? Biorizon is intensifying its application testing and development efforts and capabilities! If you share Biorizon’s ambition and want to collaborate with its Shared Research Center, please join Biorizon’s community, visit the Biorizon headquarters at the Green Chemistry Campus in Bergen op Zoom (NL) or reach out to Biorizon’s director or business development managers:

  1. Biorizon Director
    Joop Groen
    +31 (0) 6 51 91 80 96
  1. Horizon 1: Thermochemical Conversion of Biomass to Bio-Aromatics
    Jaap Kiel
    +31 (0) 6 26 43 49 26
  2. Horizon 2: Sugars to Bio-Aromatics
    Monique Wekking
    +31 (0)6 46 84 73 58
  3. Horizon 3: Lignin to Bio-Aromatics
    Karolien Vanbroekhoven
    +32 (0)4 93 51 42 70