Scaling up technology for the production of bio-aromatics
Sustainable prospect for industry
Aromatics are one of the main raw materials used by the chemical industry: 40% of all chemicals are aromatic by nature. Traditionally, aromatics have been extracted from oil, which leads to the emission of CO2. BIO-HArT helps reduce dependency on oil by extracting aromatics from plant residues, leading to lower CO2 emissions. In this way, the BIO-HArT project provides profitable and sustainable prospects for the chemical and supply industry, which is fully in line with DSM’s mission to enable a low-carbon economy.
Cross-border open innovation
Developing, optimizing and scaling up technology for producing bio-aromatics is a challenge that demands a lot in terms of knowledge, experience, and facilities. That’s why, since 2016, DSM has worked closely with nine partners - Biorizon TNO, VITO, Avantium, Chemelot InSciTe, University of Antwerp, KU Leuven, Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant, Technical University Eindhoven, and Maastricht University. Together, the BIO-HArT partners have bundled their strengths following the principle of open innovation, resulting in the bench scale demonstrators at five different locations.
This project is established by a contribution of the European Interreg Flanders-The Netherlands program that stimulates innovation, sustainable energy, a healthy environment, and the labour market by means of cross-border projects. Interreg contributes 50% of the budget. The provinces of North-Brabant, Antwerp, East-Flanders, and Flemish-Brabant offer additional funding.
Driving regional employment
The BIO-HArT project has made an important contribution to the further development of the Flemish-Dutch border region as a top location for the transition to a more sustainable, biobased economy and an efficient use of natural resources. In particular, the accelerated establishment of the project’s value chains - in which multiple feedstock suppliers, chemical companies and end users have been incorporated - has driven business and employment in the region.
By mid-2017 several key milestones had been achieved illustrating BIO-Hart’s progress:
- Protocols are established for bio-refining of several raw materials into sugars and lignin.
- Protocols and pilot installations are established for the conversion of wood, lignin, and sugar fractions into aromatic compounds.