Braskem and Haldor Topsoe announced today that they have reached mechanical completion of the MOSAIK™ process step of their demonstration plant that will produce bio-based monoethylene glycol - MEG - from sugars.
The mechanical completion of this process step is the first milestone to be achieved by Braskem and Haldor Topsoe’s partnership to validate the MOSAIK sugar-to-biochemicals solution for production of cost-competitive bio-based MEG.
Currently, MEG is made from fossil-based feedstocks, such as naphtha, gas or coal, and it is a key component of PET plastic used for food packaging, especially bottles, and polyester fabrics. The global MEG market represents a value of 25 billion dollars.
The demonstration plant, located in Lyngby, Denmark, is an important step towards upscaling the MOSAIK solution and production at an industrial scale, which is planned to commence in 2023. The plant demonstrates all key design features of the technology and can produce more than 100 tons per year of glycolaldehyde, which is converted into MEG in the next process step.
Construction and pre-commissioning of the MOSAIKprocess step have been completed as planned and on schedule. The next activities in this part of the demonstration plant will be start-up and operation with the aim to achieve key technical targets and confirm economic feasibility of the process. Operation will begin March 1.
In parallel with operating the first process step, the partners will complete the construction of the next process step, the downstream conversion to MEG. Mechanical completion is expected before the end of 2019.
“Haldor Topsoe is a world leader within catalytic solutions, and we are determined to maintain that position also in the renewables arena. So we are extremely pleased to be able to begin the next phase of the validation of the MOSAIK solution for bio-based MEG together with Braskem. Our goal is to show that innovative catalytic technologies can make chemicals from biomass a commercially attractive option,” says Kim Knudsen, Executive Vice President at Haldor Topsoe.
As a leading producer of thermoplastic resins in the Americas, Braskem wants to expand its portfolio of renewable products to offer new solutions that complement its biobased polyethylene marketed with the I’m green seal.
“The process for developing renewable MEG in partnership with Haldor Topsoe represents a major advance in competitiveness for Green PET. The partnership strengthens the leading role we play and adds value to our I’m green™ portfolio, which already features Green Polyethylene and Green EVA, both made from sugarcane. It also will further corroborate our vision of using biopolymers as a way to capture carbon, which helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Gustavo Sergi, Director of Renewable Chemicals at Braskem.
Topsoe has delivered a packaged solution for this project with Braskem, including process design, engineering, catalyst, and technology.
What is MOSAIK?
MOnoSAccharide IndustrIal Cracker – or MOSAIK – is a solution for cracking of sugars to an intermediary product which can be further converted to monoethylene glycol (MEG) or other biochemicals, such as methyl vinyl glycolate or glycolic acid, using Haldor Topsoe’s patented processes and catalysts. Innovation Fund Denmark has co-financed the development and upscaling of MOSAIK.
Current processes to produce MEG from biomass involve several steps. This can be reduced to two simple steps with MOSAIK and Topsoe’s unique catalyst and technology for the production of MEG. The new solution brings down investment costs and boosts productivity to a level, where it can compete on commercial terms with traditional production from fossil feedstock (naphtha).