Braskem, Haldor Topsoe partner on renewable MEG pilot plant

Author: Tom Brown


LONDON (ICIS)--Brazil’s Braskem and Denmark’s Haldor Topsoe have reached mechanical completion on the first phase of a demonstration plant that will produce bio-based monoethylene glycol (MEG) from sugars, the companies said on Wednesday.

Located in Lyngby, Denmark, the first phase of the project can produce over 100 tonnes/year of glycolaldehyde, which is converted into bio-MEG in the next process step, and begin operation on 1 March.

Construction on the next phase, the downstream conversion to MEG, is underway, with mechanical completion expected before the end of 2019.

The monosacacccharide industrial cracker, known as MOSAIK, cracks sugars to an intermediate product that can be converted to MEG, methyl vinyl glycoate or glycolic acid.

Development trust Innovation Fund Denmark co-financed the development and upscaling of MOSAIK.

The process reduces the number of steps necessary to produce MEG from biomass, and cuts costs and improves productivity to the extent that it can compete with naphtha-derived MEG, Haldor Topsoe added.

“Our goal is to show that innovative catalytic technologies can make chemicals from biomass a commercially attractive option,” said Haldor executive vice president Kim Knudsen.

The company offers a packaged solution for the project with Braskem, covering process design, engineering, catalyst and technology.

Capital expenditure (capex) for the project, announced in 2017, was not disclosed.

MEG is mainly used in the production of polyester fibres, resins and films (around 80% of global consumption), followed by use in polyethylene terephthalate (PET) resin. It also used as automotive antifreeze.

Pictured: Sugar cane field in Brazil
Source: Braskem