It’s the world’s first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol facility utilizing (waste) sugarcane bagasse as a feedstock. And the first of what Raizen says will be a network of seven full commercial-scale plants.
What does it look like, how does it work? The Digest takes a look.
In Brazil, Iogen and Raízen announced last month that they began production of cellulosic ethanol on schedule at Raízen`s newly expanded Costa Pinto sugar cane mill in Piracicaba, São Paulo, Brazil.
Raízen originally broke ground on the $US100 million “biomass-to-ethanol” expansion just over one year ago. The new facility converts biomass such as sugar cane bagasse and straw into 40 million liters per year of advanced, second generation cellulosic biofuel. It is also the first large-scale commercial implementation of Iogen Energy’s cellulosic ethanol technology, which Iogen developed and has extensively proven in its Ottawa demonstration facility.
(Iogen Energy is the name of the joint venture between Iogen and Raizen — and Raizen is itself is the $10B JV between Cosan and Shell)
“We finished construction on schedule, and said we expected a Q4 startup, and we’re on time,” Ziyad Rahme, SVP and General Manager for Iogen Energy, told the Digest. “We’ve had a short one-month ramp up, and started production and are making ethanol. Raizen right now have made 200,000 liters available and are selling cellulosic ethanol in Brazil. That’s also very exciting.”
“The start up went very well,” Rahme said. “There are always the first of kind things. But we are not hitting any significant hurdles, so far on the rate or yield side. What we are seeing is as per expectation, the pretreatment, hydrolysis and fermentation are all working as expected. Having said that there is always continuous improvement and fine tuning the process.”
Where is it?
The project is in the heart of Sao Paulo state’s sugarcane country, just north of Piricicaba.
The project, illustrated
1. The 10 million gallon plant seen in wide view, with the biomass intake facility on the left.
2. Pretreatment and hydrolysis units on view.
3. The biomass intake and pretreatment areas.
4. Fermentation Alley.
5. Cellulosic sugars, following extraction from bagasse.
6. The bagasse intake system, seen from above, with the bagasse arriving by conveyor into the system.
7. The pretreatment area and biomass intake.
8. A mountain of bagasse residue awaits processing in the storage yard.
9. On the left, bagasse. On the right, distilled ethanol ready for sale.
10. Close-up of the biomass intake system leading to pretreatment.
We gratefully acknowledge novocana.com for permission to publish the plant photos.
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