Inbicon: Biofuels Digest’s 5-Minute Guide

November 9, 2012 |

Based in:


Type of technology:
Cellulosic ethanol from wheat straw via enzymatic hydrolysis.

In a typical Inbicon project, 1200 metric tons per day will be converted into 20 million gallons a year of The New Ethanol; 180,000 MT/year of clean lignin, used to produce green electricity; and 185,500 MT/year of C5 molasses for livestock feed or conversion to higher-value green chemistry products.
Given the corn stover and wheat straw currently available after the annual U.S. and Canadian grain harvests, Inbicon envisions a potential 500 biomass refineries producing 10 billion gallons of cellulosic ethanol a year and generating as much as 20,000 MW of green power by 2022.

Type(s) of fuel produced:

Major investors.
Statoil, DONG Energy

Past milestones:

Opened 1.3 Mgy pilot plant in Kalundborg, Denmark in 12/2009.

Inbicon has commenced shipping cellulosic ethanol to Statoil with a 8,00 gallon (28,500 liter) delivery from the Inbicon’s  demonstration plant at the Asnæs powerplant in Kalundborg. Overall, Statoil has bought the first five million litres of Inbicon second generation bio ethanol, produced from wheat straw and other agricultural and forestry waste, using enzymes from Novozymes. Statoil, which began offering biogasoline to motorists in 2006, is now also blending under a mandate passed by the Danish parliament in 2009.

In 2012, Inbicon certified Poyry as meeting all quality, reliability, and professional standards necessary for engineering projects involving Inbicon Biomass Refineries. Headquartered in Helsinki, Finland, Poyry employs 7,000 people worldwide in 50 countries, including the American office in Appleton, Wisconsin.

In 2012, Inbicon and Novozymes have become associated with the Maabjerg Energy Concept, a highly ambitious effort to produce cellulosic ethanol, biogas, district heat, power, and a small amount of industrial CO2. It’s an integrated design concept, as routinely developed, it seems, by the Danes, although rarely so comprehensively elsewhere. The consortium aimed to build a 2nd generation bioethanol plant, a hydrogen production plant and a waste treatment plant in Måbjerg. At the same time, the production of biogas by Maabjerg BioEnergy would be increased significantly, and the biomass-fired cogeneration plant Måbjergværket would be revamped.

Maabjerg Energy Concept is located at the western part of Denmark, near the cities Struer and Holstebro in Jutland. Maabjerg Bioethanol will be built on the site next to Maabjerg BioEnergy. The plant will use 400 000 tons of straw and other annual plants to produce 2nd generation bioethanol, molasses and lignin. The plant will be based on the technology that DONG Energy developed in the Inbicon pilot plant in Kalundborg, Denmark.

Future milestones:

Projects in North America and China, in addition to future Danish projects with DONG Energy.

Business model:


Competitive edge:

At Biofuels International Canada in 2011, Inbicon VP Paul Kamp said that his company could produce cellulosic ethanol at $1.84 per gallon on an operating basis, based on expected conditions in Alberta, creating a substantial margin compared to conventional ethanol production, and could work creatively with partners on financing options through tax credits and incentives to limit the impact of higher capital expenditures compared to first-gen fuels.

Kamp said that a 50 ton per hour commercial-scale facility would utilize 463,000 tons of wheat straw, produce 20 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol, 200,000 tons of C5 molasses and 175,000 tons of lignin that could provide power for the entire process, plus extra power supplied to the grid. Kamp added that, based on the total grain acreage in North America, the potential existed, using Inbicon technolo to produce 20,000 MW of renewable power and up to 9.5 billion gallons of cellulosic ethanol. The Inbicon process generally uses agricultural residues at this time, as opposed to woody biomass feedstocks.

Development stage:

Company website

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Category: 5-Minute Guide

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