Axens reaches milestone in ethanol-to-ethylene Atol® plant
Photo courtesy of Axens

Axens reaches milestone in ethanol-to-ethylene Atol® plant

Axens, based in Rueil-Malmaison, France, has achieved the guaranteed performance of its first ethanol-to-ethylene Atol® Plant with Japan’s Sumitomo Chemical.

Axens demonstrated the successful start-up of the first ethanol-to-ethylene pilot plant based on Axens Atol® technology with Sumitomo Chemical in May 2022.

Atol® is a technology for the production of polymer-grade ethylene by dehydration of any kind of renewable ethanol from biomass or waste. It is the result of a partnership between Axens, TotalEnergies and IFP Energies nouvelles (IFPEN).

At full rollout, this project will attain the production of waste-based polyolefin at industrial scale, representing a step forward towards a circular economy based on renewable carbon.

Building upon the historic 2021 achievement of the first waste-based polyolefin production at lab scale, the cooperation between the two companies entered into a new phase with the construction and start-up of the first Atol® plant. This new development proves the reliability and robustness of Axens Atol® technology, which will be capable of processing a wide variety of ethanol feedstocks derived from various origins.

Axens now counts five Atol® references in the world, demonstrating the versatility of a technology which is at the crossroads of various value chains, from polymers and chemicals to biofuels.

“We are honored to work hand in hand with Sumitomo Chemical, in a cooperation that has the potential to be a game changer for the polyolefins industry. This project clearly addresses the waste plastics issue and Axens is committed to support our customers and partners to accelerate the deployment of the circular economy around the world,” said Frédéric Balligand, vice-president,  Renewables Product Line, Axens. 

The Axens group provides a complete range of solutions for the conversion of oil and biomass to cleaner fuels, the production and purification of major petrochemical intermediates, the chemical recycling of plastics, all natural gas treatment and conversion options along with water treatment and carbon capture.