26. Aug 2019
Avantium N.V. has today announced that it has been awarded €6 million as part of a SPIRE grant to accelerate its Dawn and Mekong technologies in addition to utilizing its expertise in Catalysis.
SPIRE, part of Horizon2020, is the European subsidy programme to facilitate the region’s Sustainable Process Industry. Avantium will participate in a 4-year research programme entitled IMPRESS starting in September 2019. Avantium will lead the IMPRESS consortium consisting of ten industry and academic organisations across Europe. The consortium received a total SPIRE grant of €13 million.
Avantium is a forerunner in developing and commercializing innovative technologies for the production of plant-based chemicals and materials. In its Renewable Chemistry business, the company is scaling up its new biorefinery process called Dawn and a novel catalytic process for plant-based MEG (mono- ethylene glycol) called Mekong. The IMPRESS consortium aims to demonstrate a new biorefinery concept based on integrating novel processes such as Avantium’s Dawn and Mekong technologies for the first time. It also intends to develop new separation and purification methods.
Avantium’s Dawn Technology converts non-food plant-based feedstock into industrial sugars and lignin. The Mekong technology converts these industrial sugars into plant-based MEG. Together, these processes enable the production of nature-derived polyesters and support the transition of the chemicals and materials industries to non-fossil resources. The integration of Dawn Technology with the production of plant-based MEG by the Mekong technology will be further improved by using the advanced high throughput R&D systems of Avantium Catalysis. The objective is to create a value chain starting from non-edible biomass to renewable chemicals and materials that meets both economic and sustainability criteria.
In addition to Avantium, the IMPRESS consortium consists of nine leading companies and knowledge institutes across Europe: Sulzer (CH), Knauer (DE), IRCELYON (CNRS, Claude Bernard Lyon 1 university, FR), Lenntech (NL), Vogelbusch Biocommodities (AT), PDC (Process Design Centre, NL), Thinkstep (DE), Aalto University (FI) and South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences (Xamk, FI).
In the statement announcing the grant, Tom van Aken, CEO of Avantium, commented: “The introduction of new plant-based chemical products and materials to the market requires the combination of sourcing plant-based feedstock, deploying disruptive technologies, and successfully engaging with the end-product market. Leading the IMPRESS programme is a fantastic opportunity for us to work with like-minded organisations towards a fossil-free future. It truly leverages the synergies of Avantium’s portfolio of technologies and areas of expertise.”