Production of first in-specification 99% Cyrene™
On Thursday the 17th of January the first in-specification 99% pure Cyrene™ was produced by the FC5 prototype plant. 165 kg of this product was packaged and shipped to customers in the USA on Friday. This marks a huge milestone for the FC5 project as the entire plant has now been successfully commissioned and operated end-to-end.
This has been a significant undertaking for the FC5 team who have shown great perseverance and grit to make the development of such a novel process and completely new product a success. The commissioning of the plant and production of the first in-specification product is a massive achievement.
The production of Cyrene™ is part of Norske Skog Australasia’s broader strategic vision of “Building Our Future from Fibre and Energy”. It’s a partnership with the Circa Group and involves new technology developed in Australia, targeting global markets for sustainable, safer and more environmentally friendly alternatives to existing solvents which have unacceptable environmental impacts.
For those unfamiliar with the FC5 process, it converts radiata pine sawdust, utilising reactions under pyrolysis conditions, to produce the “green” biosolvent Cyrene™. Each step is novel on an industrial scale for this product and has required significant knowledge to be developed in-house by the FC5 team, as well as specialist input and a very methodical approach. The pyrolysis reactors, primary distillation and secondary distillation have been operating consistently through much of 2018. Recent breakthroughs have been in the hydrogenation and Cyrene™ distillation operations where the final, high purity product is produced.
The focus for the FC5 team will now turn to running the plant more consistently and producing a steady stream of Cyrene™ for product testing in US and European markets, whilst improving throughput and quality and further developing our knowledge of the process.
The FC5 team would like to take this opportunity to thank Boyer Mill and the wider Norske Skog group for their assistance and support over the last 3 years as this plant was designed, built, commissioned and now operated.