Novozymes and M&G Chemicals to build biomass-to-glycols plant in China
Mary Page Bailey
Novozymes (Copenhagen, Denmark; www.novozymes.com) has announced that it will supply enzyme technology to the world’s first biomass to glycols biorefinery to be constructed by M&G Chemicals in China. The bio-refinery will be located in Anhui province, close to Fuyang in Eastern China, and will have capacity to process 1 million metric tons per year (m.t./yr) of biomass. Construction of the biorefinery is contingent upon successful financing, and the biorefinery is slated to begin operations in 2015.
The biorefinery is expected to be realized through a joint venture between M&G Chemicals and the Chinese company Guozhen Group Co. which will make available 1 million m.t./yr of wheat straw and corn stover. The biorefinery will produce mono-ethylene glycol (MEG). MEG’s main application areas are in the production of synthetic polyester fibers and as one of two main components in polyethylene terephthalate (PET) production. PET is one of the key building blocks for plastic packaging, including plastic bottles for water. The lignin by-product will feed a 45 MW cogeneration power plant, which will be constructed in conjunction with the biorefinery. The biorefinery will use Beta Renewables’ PROESA technology, and Novozymes will supply the enzyme technology for biomass conversion on an exclusive basis over a 15-year period. Novozymes will provide M&G Chemicals with financial support of $35 million.