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Avantium Collaborates to Develop Reference Plant for Wood to Chemicals Transformation

Published on 2017-02-14. Author : SpecialChem

Avantium, one of the leading chemical technology companies and forerunner in renewable chemistry, has announced a partnership with AkzoNobel, Chemport Europe, RWE and Staatsbosbeheer for the development of a reference plant at the Chemie Park Delfzijl. This important step marks the next stage of a collaborative effort to determine the feasibility of a wood to chemicals biorefinery in Delfzijl.

The Zambezi Process

Avantium Plant
Avantium Collaborates to Develop Reference Plant
for Wood to Chemicals Transformation

  • The new reference plant in Delfzijl will be based on a new technology that has been developed by Avantium.
  • This Zambezi process aims for a cost-effective process for the production of high-purity glucose from non-food biomass such as
    • Forestry residue
    • Pulp 
    • Agricultural by-products
    • Second generation feedstock
  • The technology converts woody biomass into sugars and lignin
  • It is particularly suited for making high purity glucose required for the production of a wide range of biobased chemicals and materials for the chemical industry
  • This glucose is suitable for both catalytic and fermentation processes for the production of a new and growing generation of sustainable materials (such as PLA, PEF, PBAT, PHA). 
  • The lignin is an excellent feedstock for renewable bioenergy applications, as its energy content is significantly higher than that of woody biomass

Bringing Core Strength to the Project


Each partner brings their core strength to the project; from feedstock, throughout the supply chain to end products. The main feedstock of the plant will be locally sourced forestry residue coordinated by Staatsbosbeheer. The planned reference plant builds on the strong synergies of the infrastructure, utilities and expertise of the AkzoNobel site in Delfzijl. RWE will supply feedstock and use bio-lignin residue from the Zambezi process for the generation of renewable energy. Chemport Europe brings strategic support from the Northern Netherlands Region working via a range of initiatives to facilitate the project. Further synergistic partnerships and collaborations are currently under development.

The partnership expects, together with the geographical, technical and logistical benefits of the Delfzijl area, to enable the cost competitive production that will help accelerate the roll out of the biobased economy. The reference plant will be constructed with an expansion-ready footprint enabling rapid increase of capacity after demonstration.

About Avantium

Avantium is one of the leading chemical technology companies and a forerunner in renewable chemistry. Together with its partners around the world, Avantium develops efficient processes and sustainable products made from biobased materials. Avantium offers a breeding ground for revolutionary renewable chemistry solutions. 

About Akzo Nobel Industrial Chemicals B.V.

AkzoNobel creates everyday essentials to make people’s lives more liveable and inspiring. As one of the leading global paints and coatings companies and a major producer of specialty chemicals, it supplies essential ingredients, essential protection and essential color to industries and consumers worldwide. 


About Chemport Europe

Changing the nature of chemistry – In Chemport Europe, agricultural and chemical businesses, knowledge institutions, and regional and national governments work closely together to capitalize on opportunities that are created by market demand for sustainable products and processes. 

About RWE Generation NL

RWE Generation is a pan-European energy company with one of the largest power portfolios in the world, with over 40 GW of generating capacity. The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of RWE AG. RWE Generation brings together the international expertise and experience of RWE Generation NL, RWE Generation UK and RWE Power to form one company

About Staatsbosbeheer

Staatsbosbeheer is committed to its continuing development as a vital public enterprise and to strengthening the position of nature in the Netherlands. As one of the leading national public bodies, its focus continues to be directed towards enhancing the green heritage of its country. 


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Source: Avantium
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