Sunliquid Cellulose Ethanol Process Reaches Demo Scale in Germany
by Susanne Retka Schill (Ethanol Producer Magazine) The Swiss specialty chemicals company Clariant is now operating its demonstration-scale cellulosic ethanol plant in Straubing, Germany. With an annual capacity of up to 1,000 tons (330,000 MMgy), the demonstration facility is scaling up the company’s pilot-scale work by about a factor of 1,000. “The equipment type and specifications in the demo plant will allow scale-up to production scale,” said Markus Rarbach, head of Clariant’s Biocatalysis, Biotech and Renewables Center. “This has been validated by a team of external and internal engineers.”
Pilot-scale work on the Sunliquid process began in 2009 when Sud-Chemie opened its pilot plant at its research headquarters in Munich. Construction on the demonstration plant in Straubing, near Munich, was started in mid-2010. Clariant, which acquired Sud-Chemie last year, says the project represents an investment of about EUR28 million ($34 million).
In development since 2006, the Sunliquid process is a fully-integrated enzymatic hydrolysis with a number of energy-saving aspects, which results in a 95 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions when compared to gasoline in a life cycle analysis, according to Clariant.
…Lignin for power and an energy-efficient ethanol purification technology are other features of the Suniquid system, helping to make it energy self-sufficient. READ MORE