Every year, Dutch households collectively produce over 5 million tons of municipal waste. Biorizon-partner TNO, together with Attero, AEB Amsterdam, Orgaworld and the Dutch Waste Management Association (DWMA) investigates how carbohydrates (sugars) in municipal waste streams can be used as a source for the production of biobased aromatics.
Aromatics are among the most important resources for the chemical industry. Currently virtually all aromatic building blocks are made from fossil oil and that causes CO2-emissions that lead to climate change. Shared Research Center Biorizon, an initiative of TNO, VITO and the Green Chemistry Campus, develops technologies to produce aromatics derived from plant-based waste streams. This diminishes the dependence on fossil fuel, it lowers CO2-emissions and it provides the chemical industry and its suppliers a profitable and sustainable perspective.
"This project, that we've called Waste2Aromatics, is a major step to ensure the continuous supply of sufficient resources", says Joop Groen, business development manager of Biorizon. "With this project we utilize municipal waste streams as a resource and we investigate how we can produce bio-aromatics derived from those waste streams. Circular economy in optima forma!"
In order to produce bio-aromatics from municipal waste streams, the (hemi-) cellulose that is present in the organic fractions needs to be transformed into furans. In turn, these furans serve as an agent for the final production of aromatics. Biorizon-partner TNO has got two technologies available for the conversion of cellulose into furans:
Around the world there isn't a lot of experience with the processing of non-homogeneous waste streams with these techniques. Thus, one of the goals of this project is to develop knowledge on the suitability of heterogeneous waste streams for this conversion. In the first phase of this project the characteristics of nine different waste streams have been identified. On the basis of parameters such as (an)organic substances, sugar contents and the dimensions of particles the fractions have been reviewed whether they are suitable for the conversion into furans. Over the next coming months, the Waste2Aromatics project will be experimenting with the three most promising waste streams. The first results can be expected in the summer of 2015.
In this Waste2Aromatics project TNO, Biorizon, Attero, AEB Amsterdam, Orgaworld and the Dutch Waste Management Association (DWMA) have joint forces in a unique collaboration:
For more information on the Waste2Aromatics project or Shared Research Center Biorizon please contact Joop Groen via email@example.com or +31 (0)6 51 91 80 96
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