“GRowing Advanced industrial Crops on marginal lands for biorEfineries” (GRACE): this is the name of the BBI demonstration project under the coordination of the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart (Germany) and with a unique consortium made up of universities, agricultural companies and industry. The aims will be achieved by knowledge exchange between these groups, together with new crop varieties and cultivation experiments on areas that have been polluted by heavy metals, for example, or are unattractive for food production due to lower yields.
Finnish company KaiCell Fibers completed a technical-commercial feasibility study (FS), mainly delivered by CTS Engtec Oy, and now is ready for the next steps towards making the biorefinery in Paltamo, northeast Finland, a reality.
The Italian biochemical company GFBiochemicals and Atlanta-based American Process Inc., which is specialized in the development of technologies for the commercial production of sugars and ethanol from biomass, have entered into a joint development agreement to create the largest integrated cellulosic biorefinery in the world. “The agreement – both companies stated – is rooted in our complementary industrial operations and joint vision for a lower-carbon future”. The proposed biorefinery, located in the U.S, is expected to create 50-200 thousand tonnes per annum of bio-based products, addressing markets with a potential annual value of USD 10 billion.
The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) urges U.S. Congress to advance a multi-year extension of renewable energy tax credits slated to expire at the end of 2016.
Comet Biorefining, a leading provider of sustainable and cost-competitive cellulosic dextrose technology for applications in renewable biochemicals and biofuels, has announced the location of its commercial-scale biomass-derived sugar facility in the TransAlta Energy Park in Sarnia, Ontario. The 60 million pounds per year plant will come online in 2018, producing dextrose sugar from locally-sourced corn stover and wheat straw. Corn stover consists of residues left in the field after harvest including stalks, leaves, husks and cobs.
It is not a good time to Versalis. But, despite the uncertainty about its future, the chemical company of Italian oil giant Eni continues to focus on green chemistry together with Elevance Renewable Sciences. The high-growth company (headquartered in Woodridge, Illinois), that creates novel specialty chemicals from natural oils, has recently and successfully completed scale-up of a second-generation biorefinery technology of the company’s olefin metathesis technology, utilizing ethylene and natural oil feedstocks.
Novozymes announced a deal to supply enzyme technology to a new biorefinery that will be built by St1 Biofuels in Kajaani, Finland. The facility will be co-located at a sawmill site, and will be the first facility in the world to use sawdust (sawdust or wood dust is a by-product of the forestry industry and is composed of fine particles of wood) from softwood as feedstock to produce cellulosic ethanol at commercial scale. The process uses steam-explosion to open up the cellulosic structures of the sawdust, followed by enzymatic hydrolysis to extract the sugars for ethanol fermentation.
The Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy is implementing the Government’s bioeconomy, cleantech, and digitalisation strategy for accelerating new areas for growth. In June 2014 an international competition was launched as part of the bioeconomy strategy to expedite the commercialisation of bioeconomy innovations and the emergence of new biorefineries in Finland.
Spinnova Ltd. has won the international biorefinery competition with its new textile fibre production technology. Two other proposals to receive awards in the competition are Biovakka Suomi’s concept for combining the production of biogas, nutrients, and transport fuel, and a proposal by the that incorporates novel Finnish technology for the production of new biomaterials and biochemicals.
In addition to Italy, Brazil, Malaysia and China, also Slovak Republic will have a biorefinery to produce second-generation bioethanol, which will use Proesa technology developed by the Mossi Ghisolfi Group. Biochemtex and Beta Renewables signed a definitive agreement with Energochemica SE – a Slovakian chemical and power industry holding company – for the construction of a 2nd Generation Ethanol plant and the annexed Energy Block for the generation of power and steam.
The next economic development of Malaysia will be biobased. Brooke Renewables and Hock Lee Group – which has experience in manufacturing of industrial glue and plywood and has investment in oil palm plantation – have presented a Letter of Intent (LOI) to the state government, marking their intention to invest in the 2G (second generation) bioethanol and biochemical plant as the first phase of the Sarawak Biomass Hub project.