INEOS Bio, a subsidiary of INEOS, the world’s third-largest chemicals company, has received an offer of a £7.3 million (US$10.8 million) grant towards £52 million (US$76.7 million) construction costs for the first commercial plant in Europe using its waste-to-ethanol BioEnergy Process Technology. (Earlier post.)
Following the successful completion of a detailed feasibility study by the company, the UK DECC (Department for Energy and Climate Change) has approved funding of £4.5 million (US$6.6 million) for this next phase of the project. In addition, the Regional Development Agency One North East is investing £2.8 million (US$4.1 million), of which £1.8 million (US$2.7 million) has been secured through the Tees Valley Industrial Programme.
The plant, to be located at the INEOS Seal Sands site in the Tees Valley, UK, is designed to produce 24,000 tonnes per year (30 million liters, 7.9 million gallons US) of carbon-neutral road transport fuel and generate more than 3MW of electricity for export from over 100,000 tonnes per year of biodegradable household and commercial waste. This would provide the biofuel requirement of around 250,000 vehicles per year running on E10 and the electricity needs of 6,000 households.
Subject to final agreements, this advanced bioethanol plant is due to be completed by 2012, creating around 40 new permanent jobs at the plant and 350 jobs in the construction phase. Once operational, it is intended that the facility will be expanded into a larger integrated biorefinery, combining advanced bioenergy production with advanced waste treatment by 2015.
The INEOS BioEnergy Process Technology combines thermochemical and biochemical technologies to achieve energy-efficient and low-cost biofuel production from a wide range of biomass materials, including household and industrial waste. At the heart of the INEOS Bio technology is an anaerobic fermentation step, through which naturally occurring bacteria convert gases derived directly from biomass into bioethanol. This bioethanol production is integrated with combined heat and power generation.
The process supports high recycling and high landfill diversion rates; an independent life cycle assessment by Eunomia indicates that the bioethanol produced at the INEOS Bio plant would deliver 100% greenhouse gas savings compared to using gasoline in today’s cars.