Thermochemical Horizon

In Horizon I, Biorizon co-initiator TNO coordinates the development of thermochemical processes that enable sustainable bio-aromatics production as an integral part of biorefinery processing. The focus lies on cost-effective approaches to produce bio-aromatics as a co-product next to other chemicals, transport fuels, power and heat, or produce them from biorefinery residues like lignin. Chemical recycling of plastics into aromatic building blocks for the chemical industry is considered too within the framework of a transition to a circular bio-economy.


Horizon I addresses two main technological development lines. The first comprises gasification combined with ethylene aromatization and selective extraction of BTX – benzene, toluene and xylene – for application as a chemical building block to produce e.g. polymers and coatings. The second line focuses on pyrolysis closely coupled with product fractionation through staged condensation or with catalytic upgrading. Here lignin and lignin-rich biomass are feedstocks of main interest, and the resulting aromatic mixtures can be applied as functional sustainable building blocks in a wide range of applications that include bitumen, resins and coatings.

Current focus

Gasification combined with ethylene aromatization and selective extraction of BTX has been validated successfully on a scale of 5 kg/h biomass input, and the prospects of the high-quality BTX as a green feedstock for the chemical industry have been assessed. Demonstration of the technology will be the next step. In the pyrolysis line, a 5 kg/h pilot consisting of a pyrolizer (PYRENA) + product fractionation is being installed at the Green Chemistry Campus for lignin depolymerization. This pilot unit allows further process optimization as well as the production of sizable product quantities, to be implemented in application development trials together with industry. In parallel, the start-up BioBTX is focusing on the combination of pyrolysis and catalytic upgrading.

More information

If you share our ambition and want to collaborate with our Shared Research Center, please join our community, visit the Biorizon headquarters at the Green Chemistry Campus in Bergen op Zoom (NL) or reach out to our business development managers.

Biorizon is powered by


This project is made possible by a contribution from the European
Regional Development Fund (ERDF) within the framework of OP-Zuid.

Op Zuid