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Trillium to build world’s first demonstration plant for sustainable acrylonitrile at Ineos Nitrile’s Green Lake site

| By Mary Bailey

Trillium Renewable Chemicals (Knoxville, Tenn.) announced the selection of INEOS Nitriles’ Green Lake facility in Port Lavaca, Texas to establish the world’s first demonstration plant for converting plant-based glycerol into acrylonitrile. The demonstration plant is named “Project Falcon.”

Trillium Renewable Chemicals Selects INEOS Green Lake for World’s First Demonstration Plant for Sustainable Acrylonitrile Production

Trillium Renewable Chemicals Selects INEOS Green Lake for World’s First Demonstration Plant for Sustainable Acrylonitrile Production (Source: Trillium)

Trillium Renewable Chemicals has developed a groundbreaking technology for producing sustainable acrylonitrile, a key raw material in numerous industries, including toys, auto parts, aerospace components, medical supplies, and apparel. Selecting INEOS – the world’s leading global manufacturer of petrochemicals, underscores Trillium’s ambition to scale up its technology in an industrial environment to accelerate progress.

“Trillium is thrilled that INEOS Nitriles Green Lake, home to America’s largest acrylonitrile production plant, will serve as the home for Project Falcon,” said Corey Tyree, CEO of Trillium Renewable Chemicals. “This milestone is a significant step forwards in bringing our technology to market and producing sustainable bio-based acrylonitrile at scale.”

Following a $10.6M Series A financing round in December 2022 and $2.5 million award from the Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office in June 2022, Trillium constructed a pilot plant that successfully produced acrylonitrile from glycerol. Trillium’s sustainable acrylonitrile offers a lower carbon footprint than standard acrylonitrile based on the Sohio propylene process. The company’s innovative approach addresses growing customer demand for greener bio based raw materials.

 Trillium continues to operate a pilot plant and has successfully provided samples to customers. Pilot operations also have contributed valuable insights for the design of the Falcon plant, which will be operated at the INEOS Nitriles Green Lake site. 

Hans Casier, CEO of INEOS Nitriles, highlighted the significance of Trillium’s decision,” INEOS Nitriles is very pleased to be working with Trillium to advance technology for the production of sustainable bio-based acrylonitrile.  Our support of this project, which is part of our wider sustainability strategy, emphasises our commitment as the world’s largest producer of acrylonitrile, to reducing the carbon footprint of the industry. We look forward to working closely with Trillium to help achieve this objective.”

The operation of Project Falcon will help to validate commercial-scale economics and product carbon footprint at scale. Emphasis will be placed on achieving process performance criteria such as plant uptime, demonstrating key equipment in its final form, and securing qualification as a supplier of bio-based acrylonitrile. Set to commence operations in early 2025, the project will run through early 2026.