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The products we use every day, from plastics to textiles, are almost all aromatics, but the extraction of these chemical raw materials is still made from oil, which causes a lot of CO2 emissions. TNO is working with partners to produce aromatics from biomass, and it has been demonstrated in the lab that this is possible, and scaling up is now necessary in order to be able to produce bioaromatics commercially in the future.
To this end, TNO is in discussion with companies and investors interested in making the chemical industry more sustainable. Ultimately, it is a question of producing aromatics from biomass in a profitable way. TNO is therefore focusing on both the technology and the business case.
Sustainable aromatics production is a major contributor to achieving climate targets in the chemical sector. Moreover, the bio-based economy is now a growth market not only stimulating government initiatives in this area but also helping an increasing number of large companies around the world to take serious initiatives, with major brands ranging from the automotive industry to consumer products active in this respect, whether or not compelled by customer demand
TNO has been active for years in the shared research centre Biorizon, headquartered at the Green Chemistry Campus in West Brabant, where it is developing technologies with companies and knowledge partners for the production of aromatics from residual biomass. It is now time to scale up by building an ADAPT demo plant. ADAPT stands for AciD Aromatics PiloT. This will be the first place in the world where aromatics are produced from biomass in a high-quality and efficient manner. Because the conversion of existing installations is too expensive and too complex, a completely new production process is needed.
If the pilot is successful, the way will be open to roll out aromatics from biomass on a large scale, something the world is waiting for. TNO is in dialogue with investors and chemical companies that see opportunities in this groundbreaking technology. With the pilot plant we can show the world that we are leading the way and, at the same time, stimulate innovation and business in our country.