Accelerating biomass conversion technologies - Spinverse helped with 13 M€ EU grant

Avantium N.V. with nine partners across Europe were awarded with a € 13 million grant from Horizon2020's SPIRE programme. The project will integrate and scale up Avantium's new biorefinery process Dawn and novel catalytic process for bio-based MEG (mono ethylene glycol) Mekong. Avantium, with 6 M€ share of the grant leads the consortium called IMPRESS. Spinverse assisted Avantium and the consortium in preparing the winning application.

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 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.

"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"

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 supports 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.

Tom van Aken, CEO of Avantium, says: “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.”

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).

“The technical concept of the IMPRESS project is very ambitious, but the consortium companies represent the forefront of the industry and we are expecting impressive results from the project indeed. Avantium showed decisiveness and leadership in the proposal preparations and it was great to be a part of this project, comments Vice President Risto Savolainen from Spinverse.

The 4-year research programme IMPRESS will start in September 2019. It has received funding under the SPIRE programme, which is a part of EU’s Horizon2020 programme. SPIRE is the European subsidy programme to facilitate a Sustainable Process Industry in Europe.

Read the press release here.