IRPC Operations: Commercial cellulosic ethanol production with Sunliquid ®

By Sumedha Sharma, Technical Editor, Hydrocarbon Processing

Paolo Corvo, Global Key Account Manager for Clariant presented an overview of the company’s advanced technological solution for commercial ethanol production from an extensive range of biomass feedstocks– the Sunliquid® technology. Paolo emphasized the importance of innovation, research & development, and sustainability as key focus areas in the development of Clariant’s ligno-cellulosic ethanol solutions.

The talk also focused on the commercial readiness of the technology and provided a run-through of the under-commissioning 50 ktpa production plant in Romania which has a planned production timeline of December 2021. The 50 ktpa cellulosic ethanol plant with 22 process units is based on 250 ktpa locally sourced straw feedstock.  The integrated Sunliquid® technology includes the following process steps:

  • Mechanical and thermal pre-treatment of biomass feedstock: entirely chemical free, cost effective, and increases process safety.
  • Enzymes and microorganism production: Enzymes are used for hydrolysis of cellulose to fermentable saccharides. Integrated production and tailored enzymes overcome the economic hurdles to commercialization and ensure high performance and efficiency.
  • Fermentation: Optimized feedstock specific microorganisms are used to ferment sugar to ethanol in a one-step process and produce high purity carbon-di-oxide as by-product which can be captured or utilized.
  • Purification: Highly efficient, optimized method is used for removal of water from ethanol. High yield of bioethanol is achieved due to utilization of all sugar types.

Paolo touted this technology as not only a fuel blending solution but also a basis for a variety of sustainable biobased products. Clariant has already sold commercial licenses of the technology to different global companies and offers customized support for ideation to operation.

To watch the full presentation, please register for IRPC Operations and gain access to all of the presentations for a full year: Register for IRPC Operations here

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