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Toyota Tsusho Invests in Anellotech to Develop Bio-TCat Technology

Published on 2016-07-13. Author : SpecialChem

Anellotech made Toyota Tsusho Corporation as a multinational strategic equity investor and corporate partner in the renewable aromatic chemicals supply chain. Toyota Tsusho is a member of the Toyota Group and is one of the major value chain partners (along with Suntory) in the Anellotech alliance, further validating the global market opportunity for Anellotech’s Bio-TCat™ technology.


A Strategic Investor and Corporate Partner in the BTX Supply Chain


Toyota Tsusho Invests in Anellotech
Fig. 1: Toyota Tsusho Invests in Anellotech

Toyota Tsusho’s investment has been used to fund development of Anellotech’s Bio-TCat technology, including the installation and commissioning of Anellotech’s new, fully-integrated development and testing facility (“TCat-8™”). This 25 meter-tall unit’s purpose is to confirm the viability and suitability of the Bio-TCat process for scale-up, and generate the data needed to design commercial plants using Bio-TCat technology. The TCat-8 unit was jointly designed by Anellotech and its R&D partner IFPEN, and will use a novel catalyst under joint development by Anellotech and Johnson Matthey. After verification of the continuous operation of TCat-8, Anellotech Alliance partner Suntory plans to move ahead with studies to consider the development of the first commercial-scale Bio-TCat plant.

The TCat-8 unit has been installed at host South Hampton Resources’ Silsbee, Texas location. Remaining construction activities required to bring the unit online are scheduled to be completed shortly, followed by commissioning and startup of this first-of-its-kind development and testing facility later this year. Toyota Tsusho management recently visited the TCat-8 unit at Silsbee, and, noting the advanced stage of development, elected to make public their involvement in the program.

Toyota Tsusho’s interest in Anellotech’s technology is aligned with their goal of promoting sustainable bio-materials, including bio-based polyester (polyethylene terephthalate, or “PET”). Bio-sourced, “drop-in” BTX made from the Bio-TCat process is also useful in the manufacture of other derivative plastics including polyurethane, polycarbonate, polystyrene and nylon. These petro-identical, but now bio-sourced, derivatives have applications across a broad range of large global markets including polymer packaging & textiles, automotive, construction, adhesives, paints, coatings, appliances and detergents.

“Toyota Tsusho is an outstanding partner for Anellotech and has provided significant financial support to our development process,” said David Sudolsky, President and CEO of Anellotech. “Our companies share a common goal of developing Anellotech’s Bio-TCat process and cost-competitively producing renewable BTX.”

Sudolsky added, “As we saw at the Sustainable Brands conference in June, consumer brand owners are looking to replace petroleum inputs in their products with bio-sourced alternatives as a key component of their corporate sustainability programs. Anellotech looks forward to continuing our progress and commercial deployment of the Bio-TCat process to further enable the sustainability performance of consumer brands around the globe.”

About Toyota Tsusho Corporation

Toyota Tsusho Corporation is the Toyota Group's general trading company that develops diversified businesses through more than 990 consolidated companies in Japan and overseas and with customers around the world, via a global network covering Japan and more than 90 countries worldwide. The Company organized its business under six operating divisions: Metals, Global Parts & Logistics, Automotive, Machinery, Energy & Project, Chemicals & Electronics, Food & Consumer Services. Though different in the products and services they provide, these divisions share the same goal of creating and delivering diverse value by developing unique functions from a dedicated customer-oriented approach in both domestic and overseas markets. With various activities, the group provides products and services in a broad range of business domains that are essential to achieving the creation of a prosperous and fulfilling society.

About Anellotech

Anellotech is developing the Bio-TCat process to produce cost-competitive renewable aromatic chemicals (benzene, toluene and xylenes, “BTX”) from non-food biomass for use in making plastics such as polyester, nylon, polycarbonate, polystyrene, or for renewable transportation fuels. Anellotech's key technical differentiator driving Bio-TCat’s cost-competitive advantage is its use of a one-reactor catalytic process. The Bio-TCat reactor outlet hydrocarbon product requires only mild hydrotreating to remove trace impurities using existing oil refining technology. Contrast this with other multi-step pyrolysis processes that make a highly-oxygenated bio-oil intermediate product which requires costly high pressure hydrogenation for upgrading. By using renewable and readily available non-food materials, such as sustainably harvested wood, corn stover and bagasse, the Bio-TCat process is less expensive compared to processes relying on sugar as a feedstock, and avoids competition with the food chain. As a result, these renewable-sourced chemicals are expected to be produced and sold profitably against identical, petroleum-derived BTX counterparts. Anellotech complements its world-class R&D team with in-depth, highly-interactive, and long-term alliances with leaders in process development, catalysis, engineering design, and licensing to accelerate development and drive cost-competitiveness.

Source: Anellotech


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