Big Cellulosic: Inside the Clariant cellulosic ethanol at Podari, Romania

October 20, 2021 |

Special to The Digest

Fueled by a need for more efficient and sustainable solutions, industries across the globe are changing the materials they use. This demand has created an opportunity for renewable raw materials to emerge as an innovative solution to sustainable energy and production needs.

Sustainability is one of Clariant’s strategic pillars, including a focused commitment to reducing our carbon footprint. Guided by our aspiration for increased sustainability, Clariant has become a technology pioneer in converting renewable materials into bioenergy. Bioenergy, particularly advanced biofuels, will help mitigate climate change, significantly contribute to achieving national and global emission goals, and play a key role in the much needed decarbonization of the worldwide transport sectors.

In Romania, Clariant is building a commercial-scale plant to produce cellulosic ethanol from agricultural residues based on the sunliquid technology. The construction completion has been announced last week, the flagship plant will be ready for start-up end of 2021. Clariant intends to demonstrate that the commercial production of cellulosic ethanol using sunliquid technology is technically feasible, economically viable, and commercially competitive.

sunliquid cellulosic ethanol is an advanced, sustainable, and carbon-neutral biofuel that can be readily used in existing transportation infrastructure. This process converts agricultural residues such as wheat straw and corn stover sourced from local farmers into fuel ethanol.

With this technology, we are able to make yet another step in reducing the carbon footprint of the ethanol industry by increasing the production volume of renewable fuels from the same acres and the same feedstock transportation infrastructure, helping to continue our industry’s tradition as responsible sustainable energy providers”, says Dakota Base, Commercial Sales Manager for NORAM.

In addition to this dedicated 2G sunliquid technology, Clariant is also leveraging our biotechnological expertise to launch a new Gen 1.5 bolt-on technology into the US Fuel Ethanol market for the conversion of corn kernel fiber to cellulosic ethanol.

Clariant’s Gen 1.5 technology solution is a bolt-on process to be co-located with a conventional Gen 1 corn starch-based fuel ethanol process. It delivers significantly higher cellulosic ethanol yields than those of of conventional drop-in enzyme and yeast options available on the market. Both the Process Application and R&D teams at Clariant have co-developed superior enzyme and yeast strains alongside high-performance process technology to create an overall integrated process. This integration ensures synergy between process design, yeast, and enzymes to effectively and efficiently convert corn fiber-derived sugars into cellulosic ethanol. The integrated process design also includes on-site production of proprietary process enzymes and yeast using Gen 1 process streams to reduce both, operational costs, and external supply chain dependency. The capacity of the Gen 1.5 bolt-on process is scalable to your individual needs and existing infrastructure. Clariant is therefore in the unique position to offer you a comprehensive license for the process and the starter cultures.

Clariant’s Gen 1.5 bolt-on process allows American Ethanol Producers to gain even greater value from the corn they’re already processing, while simultaneously contributing to greatly enhance sustainability in the US Fuel Economy.

Tad Hepner, Technical Sales Manager NORAM adds “We would appreciate the opportunity to discuss Clariant’s abilities to help your organization navigate and succeed in the 1.5G space.

Together with the NORAM team, I am looking forward to meeting you in person at the ABLC 2021 in San Francisco to discuss our unique solution for the American Ethanol Industry” says Andreas Reindl, Head of Business Industrial Enzymes and Technologies.

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