Abengoa completes waste-to-biofuels demo plant in Spain

July 1, 2013 |
The Abengoa complex in Babilafuente (Salamanca, Spain) includes a first-generstion ethanol plant as well as the newly-completed waste-to-biofuels demonstration plant.

The Abengoa complex in Babilafuente (Salamanca, Spain) includes a first-generstion ethanol plant as well as the newly-completed waste-to-biofuels demonstration plant.

In Spain, Abengoa inaugurated its demonstration waste-to-biofuels plant, with a capacity to treat 25,000 tons of municipal solid waste from which it will obtain up to 1.5 million liters (400,000 gallons per year) of ethanol.

The demonstration plant, located in Babilafuente (Salamanca, Spain) uses waste-to-biofuels technology developed by Abengoa to produce second-generation biofuels from MSW using a fermentation and enzymatic hydrolysis treatment. During the transformation process, the organic matter is treated in various ways to produce organic fiber that is rich in cellulose and hemicellulose, which is subsequently converted into ethanol.

According to Abengoa, “the production of ethanol from municipal solid waste is a major technological breakthrough in the waste management model, since it increases the recovery rate, minimizes the carbon footprint and generates major benefits for society. It is a renewable and clean source of energy that helps to cut our dependency on fossil fuels while reducing greenhouse gas emissions per kilometer travelled by 70%. Furthermore, it maximizes the recovery of the organic fraction of the MSW and prevents more than 80% of the waste ending up in landfill.”

During the opening, Manuel Sánchez Ortega, CEO of Abengoa said, “This plant once again highlights Abengoa’s commitment to technological research and innovation, which has enabled it to maintain a competitive advantage in its sectors, leading projects with huge technological potential and programs that involve world-leading research centers and strategic partners”.

The ethanol produced at the plant may be used as a fuel, as an gasoline octane additive, as an intermediate for jet fuel production, or in chemical or pharma applications.

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