WOODRIDGE, IL – Specialty chemicals company Elevance Renewable Sciences Inc., Woodridge, IL, has authorized the next stage of its second world-scale biorefinery in Natchez, MS, in order to expand production of its Inherent™ renewable building blocks. The facility is planned to begin operation in 2016. The decision is based on the successful start-up and operation of Elevance’s first world-scale joint venture biorefinery in Asia, as well as robust customer activity and demand forecasts for the company’s specialty and intermediate chemicals.
The Natchez project will be the second biorefinery using Elevance’s proprietary metathesis technology. Elevance announced commercial shipments from the company’s first biorefinery, a 180,000 MT joint venture with Wilmar International Limited located in Gresik, Indonesia, earlier this year.
The Natchez biorefinery will initially operate using canola or soybean oil; the Gresik biorefinery is now operating on palm oil. Both plants are capable of running on multiple renewable oil feedstocks, including jatropha or algal oils, when they become commercially available.
At the Natchez site, Elevance has tripled the production of the existing plant operations, transformed operations from batch to continuous operations, begun site preparation for biorefinery construction, and completed initial capital projects to speed implementation of the overall project.
The manufacturing facility in Natchez will produce novel specialty chemicals, including multifunctional esters such as 9-decenoic methyl ester, a unique distribution of bio-based alpha and internal olefins including decene, and a premium mixture of oleochemicals. It will have a capacity of 280,000 MT (approximately 617 million pounds).
The specialty chemicals, olefins and oleochemicals produced at the biorefineries will be used in personal care products, detergents and cleaners, lubricants and additives, engineered polymers, and other specialty chemicals markets.
The Inherent renewable building blocks combine the functional attributes of an olefin, typical of petrochemicals, and a monofunctional ester or acid, typical of bio-based oleochemicals, into a single molecule.