Clariant, a developer of specialty chemicals, and Enviral, Slovakia’s largest bioethanol producer, have announced a license agreement on sunliquid cellulosic ethanol technology. The move will see one of Europe’s first advanced biofuel plants built at the Enviral site in Leopoldov.
Enviral will use Clariant’s sunliquid technology to help construct a full-scale commercial plant for the commercial production of cellulosic ethanol from agricultural residues. This new plant will be integrated into the existing facilities at Enviral’s Leopoldov site with an annual production capacity of 50,000 tons. Clariant’s sunliquid technology will be used alongside starter cultures from its proprietary enzyme and yeast platform to process Enviral feedstock into cellulosic ethanol.
The sunliquid technology offers a completely integrated process using already established process technology. In order to achieve a strong commercial performance, feedstock production is integrated into the technology, alongside process specific enzymes and simultaneous C5 and C6 fermentation.
"We are excited to announce this first license deal for our sunliquid technology. It marks our official entrance into the market and the successful commercialisation of this highly innovative and sustainable technology. This step comes as a logical consequence 0f Clariant’s successful innovation strategy and will provide additional growth above and beyond Clariant’s current strong portfolio. Cellulosic ethanol has significant potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and we are proud in making it a reality,” said Christian Kohlpainter, a member of Clariant’s executive committee.
"Thanks to the cooperation with Clariant, the Slovak plant of Enviral will be one of the first plants in Europe to start commercial production of advanced biofuel. This exceptional project is the result of intensive work, searching for optimal solutions, as well as the successful technology validation carried out in Clariant´s pre-commercial plant with biomass supplied from Slovakia. Now, thanks to the advanced technology, we can turn it into reality and help Slovakia meet the targets for advanced biofuels in the European Union," said Matej Sabol, CEO of Enviral.
Extensive tests were carried out on Enviral’s feedstock and the sunliquid technology at Clariant’s pre-commercial demonstration plant in Straubing, Germany, to ensure effective compatibility. The positive results led to the agreement on the project decision.
Detailed engineering studies will now be carried out in advance of the official ground-breaking on the project which is expected at the end of 2017.
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