New technology enables large scale biofuel production from agricultural residues
Chemistry is instrumental in advancing bio-economy and producing innovative bio-based materials such as biofuel that help reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from transport.
For example, the chemical industry has developed the technically and commercially viable sunliquid® process for producing cellulosic ethanol from agricultural residues. Until recently, agricultural residues were not considered as a viable feedstock for the large scale production of biofuels, since the structure of this material is difficult to break down by conventional methods. However, the process developed by the chemical industry managed to overcome technological challenges and reduce production costs, while producing almost carbon neutral advanced biofuels.
The technology allows to build production plants with an annual output of 50,000 to 150,000 tons of ethanol. The technology can convert different agricultural residues such as wheat straw, corn stover and sugarcane bagasse that are available globally in large quantities and do not compete with food and feed crops.
In addition to the application in the transport sector, the technology can turn agricultural residues into a range of chemicals for different industries and applications.