San Diego — Anellotech Inc. will commission a development facility soon en route to making bio-paraxylene from non-food biomass and, eventually, a stream of bio-based PET for containers.
Pilot plant developer Zeton Inc. of Burlington, Ontario, is creating the capability for Anellotech in a newly constructed 100-foot-tall silo at the Silsbee, Texas, petrochemical facility of South Hampton Resources Inc., a segment of publicly traded Trecora Resources. Work on the silo started in January.
Anellotech is evaluating a to-be-identified “pioneer commercial site for large-scale production by the end of the decade,” David Sudolsky, president and CEO, said in a June 7 interview at the Sustainable Brands event in San Diego.
The aim is to start with agricultural residue or wood and make usable product in one reactor. Johnson Matthey plc of London is the catalyst development partner.
Beverage brewer and distiller Suntory Holdings Ltd. of Osaka, Japan, invested more than $15 million in the aromatic hydrocarbon conversion project over 3.5 years, Sudolsky said. “Suntory sees a value in being first.” Another unidentified firm is also a major investor.
Axens SA of Rueil-Malmaison, France, a venture of IFP Group Technologies, has an exclusive global license for commercialization of the technology. A related entity, IFP Énergies nouvelles, is Anellotech's process development and scale-up partner for the proprietary Bio-CTat-brand thermal catalytic biomass conversion technology.
“The chemicals produced from this process are identical to those made from petroleum and can plug directly into an existing 100 billion-dollar market,” said Robert Evans, who joined Anellotech as vice president of business development in April.
Anellotech employs 23 and leases a Pearl River, N.Y., facility that Pfizer Inc. occupied previously.
Anellotech was cofounded in 2008 by Sudolsky and George Huber, an engineering professor then at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and now at the University of Wisconsin. Fund raising started in 2012.
Sudolsky notes that “anello” means “ring” in Italian. “We make a ring structure,” he said.