Clariant Joins Advanced Ethanol Council

Cindy Zimmerman

RFA AECA global specialty chemicals company headquartered in Switzerland with operations in the United States is the newest member of the Advanced Ethanol Council, a coalition of companies formed last year to promote advanced ethanol fuels and technologies.

Clariant Corporation recently acquired Süd-Chemie, which has been developing its proprietary sunliquid® process since 2006, including the successful operation of a pilot plant since 2009. Clariant started operation of the largest cellulosic ethanol production facility in Germany in July 2012.

“Clariant is pleased to join the Advanced Ethanol Council, which has emerged very quickly as a leading voice for the advanced ethanol industry in the United States,” said Prof. Andre Koltermann, Group Vice-President of the Clariant Biotech & Renewables Center. “With our demonstration plant now operating, we are taking a major step towards the commercialization of our sunliquid® process and the deployment of climate-friendly cellulosic biofuels into the global liquid fuels marketplace including the United States.”

The Clariant demonstration facility, located in Straubing, Germany will produce up to 330,000 gallons of cellulosic ethanol per year specifically from wheat straw, corn stover and sugarcane bagasse. The sunliquid® process is capable of producing bio-ethanol from a wide variety of agricultural residues and dedicated energy crops.

“We are one of the few companies in the industry with proprietary process and enzyme development under one roof,” stated Dr. Markus Rarbach, Head of Biocatalysis of Corporate R&D at the Clariant Biotech & Renewables Center. “We believe that production of feedstock specific enzymes produced process integrated on-site, conversion of both C5 and C6 sugars into ethanol as well as process and energy efficiency in ethanol separation will allow the market to have both a technological and economical solution for the production of cellulosic ethanol.”

Clariant has recently started plans to commercialize the sunliquid® process in the United States and has opened an office in Des Moines, Iowa.

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