Successful Start of Pre-Commercial Production of Isobutene from Wheat Straw

Global Bioenergies started the initial processing of underutilized residual wheat straw hydrolysate provided by its partner Clariant at its Leuna demo plant, to produce second generation renewable cellulosic isobutene for the first time at a demo scale. This will eventually be transformed into oligomers and polymers usable in lubricants, rubbers, cosmetics, solvents, plastics, or fuels applications. These first runs were part of Optisochem, a project which started in June 2017.

The project focuses on the demonstration of a new value chain, based on the combination of the technologies and know-how of the participants from four EU member states:

• Conversion of straw into glucose- and xylose-rich hydrolysates by Clariant sunliquid technology (Germany),
• Fermentation of the straw hydrolysates into bio-isobutene by Global Bioenergies (France and Germany),

• Conversion of bio-isobutene into oligomers and polymers by Ineos (Germany and France),

• Preliminary engineering of an hydrolysate-to-isobutene plant and overall integration with a straw-to-hydrolysate plant, by Technip FMC and IPSB (France), and

• Assessment of the sustainability and environmental benefits by the Energy Institute at the JKU Linz (Austria).