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Trillium Renewable Chemicals chooses INEOS’ Green Lake facility as world’s first sustainable acrylonitrile demonstration plant

By Media Zoo   

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The world’s first demonstration plant to convert plant-based glycerol into acrylonitrile

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (June 4, 2024) — Trillium Renewable Chemicals (Trillium) (www.trilliumchemicals.com) today announced the selection of INEOS Nitriles’ Green Lake facility in Port Lavaca, TX (ineos.com) 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 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.”

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Following a US$10.6 million Series A financing round in Dec. 2022 and US$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, stating, “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, emphasizes 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.

For more information on Trillium Renewable Chemicals and Project Falcon, please visit www.trilliumchemicals.com.

About Trillium Renewable Chemicals

Trillium is replacing oil and gas with plant-based feedstocks in the manufacturing of green, drop-in molecules. Trillium has developed proprietary thermochemical technology to convert plant-based feedstocks like glycerol into valuable chemical intermediates (acrylonitrile and acetonitrile). Acrylonitrile is used to manufacture a wide range of materials (e.g., acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) plastic, carbon fiber, acrylic fiber, nitrile butadiene rubber (NBR), acrylamide, specialty amines). As the worldwide demand for these chemicals increases, Trillium is providing a green alternative. Learn more at www.trilliumchemicals.com.

About INEOS

A global petrochemicals manufacturer, INEOS operates 194 sites across 29 countries, generates $65 billion annually and employs over 26,000 people. Complementing our core business, INEOS is making an impact across a range of elite sports and becoming increasingly known to consumers with the launch of the Grenadier (our uncompromising 4×4) and INEOS Hygienics. More than 90 per cent of acrylonitrile produced globally uses INEOS Technology. Our leadership in this product is based on our technological know-how and manufacturing capability. The chances are that acrylonitrile touches everyone in some way, every day. It is the key ingredient in acrylic fibre used to make clothing and carpet. ABS (Acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene), a durable thermoplastic, is used in automobile components, telephones, computer casings and sports equipment. Nitrile rubber has many applications and is used to manufacture a multitude of products, including hoses for pumping fuel and products used across healthcare applications, such as PPE.

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