Clariant, a world leader in specialty chemicals, and Enviral, the largest producer of bioethanol in Slovakia, have signed a license agreement on sunliquid cellulosic ethanol technology. Enviral has acquired a license to use Clariant’s sunliquid technology as part of its goal to realize a full scale commercial cellulosic ethanol plant for the commercial production of cellulosic ethanol from agricultural residues.
This new plant will be owned and operated by Enviral and is planned to be integrated into the existing facilities at Enviral’s Leopoldov site in Slovakia with an annual production capacity of 50,000 tons. It will use Clariant’s sunliquid technology as well as starter cultures from its proprietary enzyme and yeast platforms to process Enviral feedstock into cellulosic ethanol.
The sunliquid process uses a bespoke enzyme mixture to hydrolyze cellulose and hemicellulose chains to form sugar monomer—i.e., saccharification. The enzymes are highly optimized based on feedstock and process parameters, resulting in maximum yields and short reaction times under optimal conditions.
Using optimized microorganisms, the sunliquid one-pot system simultaneously converts both C5 and C6 sugars to ethanol, delivering up to 50% more ethanol than conventional processes which convert only C6 sugars.
We are excited to announce this first license deal for our sunliquid technology. It marks our official entrance into the market and the successful commercialization of this highly innovative and sustainable technology. This step comes as a logical consequence of Clariant's successful innovation strategy and will provide additional growth above and beyond Clariant's current strong portfolio. Cellulosic ethanol has significant potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and we are proud in making it a reality.—Christian Kohlpaintner, Member of the Executive Committee at Clariant
Clariant and Enviral conducted extensive tests of Enviral’s feedstock with Clariant’s technology to ensure effective and efficient compatibility. These tests, conducted at Clariant’s pre-commercial sunliquid demonstration plant in Straubing (Germany), provided excellent results and formed the basis for the project decision. Next steps are detailed engineering studies before the official ground breaking which is expected at the end of 2017.
As a further step in the commercialization of sunliquid, Clariant decided to set-up a new Business Line Biofuels, as part of the Business Area Catalysis, which is responsible for further developing the biofuels business across the board and report its performance.