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Chempolis and NRL agree to build plant for production of cellulosic ethanol from bamboo in India

Chempolis Ltd, a Finland-based biorefining technology company, signed a partnership agreement with Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL, a Government of India enterprise). The two have agreed to partner to build a biorefinery using Chempolis formicobio technology in North East India (Assam) for producing bioethanol with co-production of furfural and acetic acid. (Earlier post.)

The biorefinery will use bamboo—which is abundantly available in Assam—as the main source of biomass. Project implementation is expected to take approximately 2.5 years.

Bamboo is an important raw material in North-East region of India, accounting for 66% of the country’s bamboo resources. This agreement aiming at utilization of bamboo is completely in line with objectives of India. According to Economic Times, the bamboo industry is estimated to reach US$5.7 billion in the near future. For NRL, production of fuel grade ethanol will result in substantial savings. In addition, this project is expected to have minimal carbon footprint.

—Navin Singhania, President of Chempolis India

Chempolis’ third-generation biorefining technology is based on selective fractionation of biomass and co-production of multiple products; the technology is not just for the production of biofuels (e.g. ethanol), but the produced sugars and lignin can be used as a platform into a number of different products.

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