The US is ordering refiners to boost the use of biofuels such as corn-based ethanol, as the Biden administration tries to strike a balance between competing political and economic pressures while gasoline prices soar.
Versalis, Eni’s chemical company, has begun the production of bioethanol from lignocellulosic biomass at Crescentino (Vercelli, North-western Italy). The plant, which was acquired in 2018, has been overhauled thanks to major investments and has started the production of advanced bioethanol, in compliance with the European legislation for the development of renewable energy RED II, as it is derived from raw materials that do not interfere with the food chain.
“Another main pillar of our strategy is to drive sustainability through chemistry from renewable sources. We already operate on two technological platforms: Proesa® starting from solid biomasses and Matrìca from vegetable oils.” Adriano Alfani, CEO Versalis – the chemical division of Italian oil company ENI, talks to Il Bioeconomista.
Interview by Mario Bonaccorso
Brazilian energy company Raizen SA and its shareholder Royal Dutch Shell Plc signed an agreement with the Ferrari Formula 1 team to supply second-generation, high-performance ethanol from next year, when the main motor racing category will begin using 10% ethanol blend in gasoline.
Braskem the largest biopolymer producer in the world has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the SCG Chemicals, one of the largest integrated petrochemical companies in Thailand and an industry leader in Asia, to perform studies to jointly invest in a new bio-ethanol dehydration plant in Thailand to produce bio-ethylene and I’m greenTM bio-based Polyethylene. If implemented, this cooperation could double the existing capacity of I’m greenTM bio-based PE.
After a challenging time during the pandemic, for the first time in over a year the ethanol industry will gather at large in Iowa, hoping also to welcome innovations that provide a substantial boost in efficiency and counteract other production challenges. At the Fuel Ethanol Workshop (FEW), the world’s largest ethanol event, Novozymes will be introducing two advanced technologies, in yeast and fiber, that have significant potential to achieve this and more.
“By continuing to combine the biological synergies and sustainability of our enzymes, yeast, and technical service platforms, Novozymes is establishing new performance expectations for ethanol production,” said Brian Brazeau, Novozymes’ President for North America and Vice President, Agricultural & Industrial Biosolutions, Americas. “We love taking on tough challenges to create something meaningful and sustainable for our customers and the world – and we cannot wait to bring these two new innovations to FEW this year after such an extraordinary time for the industry.”
Maire Tecnimont Group’s subsidiaries NextChem and MET Development have reached an agreement with FerSam Uruguay S.A. (FerSam), part of FerSam Group, to develop projects for the production of green ammonia and bio-ethanol in Latin America.
Under the agreement, Maire Tecnimont Group’s subsidiaries and FerSam will undertake feasibility studies for two projects. The first is to evaluate and assess the possibility of jointly producing green ammonia. Ammonia is a globally important commodity used in fertilizer and has potential use as a fuel and energy carrier. The production of green ammonia from renewable energy sources contributes to the reduction of carbon emissions.
Bilfinger has been commissioned by the Swiss specialty chemical company Clariant to deliver EPCM (engineering, procurement, overall project and construction management) services for the construction of their commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol production plant using Clariant’s sunliquid® technology in southwest Romania.
“Austria’s first plant for the production of second-generation bioethanol is now up and running in Hallein and we have started our trailblazing cooperation with OMV. With our advanced biofuels, we are taking a responsible approach to resources and helping to reduce fossil fuel use. We will continue to pursue our long-term strategy of ‘Green AustroCel’, uniting sustainability and economic success”, said Jörg Harbring, CEO of AustroCel Hallein.
The first successful trial delivery of advanced bioethanol marks the start of the long-term cooperation between OMV, the integrated, international oil, gas and petrochemicals company headquartered in Vienna, and AustroCel Hallein GmbH. The Hallein-based bioethanol plant has an annual capacity of up to 35 million liters, making it the world’s largest bioethanol plant based on wood. In the first year AustroCel Hallein will already supply more than 1.5 million liters per month of second-generation bioethanol to OMV. With this, the cooperation partners are contributing to climate protection.
Clariant, a focused and innovative specialty chemical company, today announced it has started monthly production of 2 million liters of disinfectant at its facilities in Gendorf, Germany. This disinfectant is then directly or via repacking partners provided to regional hospitals and other vital institutions in Bavaria, who are currently facing limited availability of this critical product during the COVID-19 outbreak.