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SEKAB and Praj Industries partner to accelerate "a green transition"

SEKAB E-Technology AB, a subsidiary of Swedish advanced biofuels and chemicals company SEKAB and India-headed ethanol plant engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) provider Praj Industries Ltd (Praj) have signed a collaboration agreement in order to upgrade and commercialize technology solutions for the production of sustainable biofuels, biochemicals, and bio-based products.

SEKAB E-Technology and Praj Industries have signed a collaboration agreement in order to upgrade and commercialize technology solutions for the production of sustainable advanced biofuels, biochemicals, and bio-based products by utilizing forest and agricultural residues. The SEKAB ethanol industry complex in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden with the Biorefinery Demo Plant in the foreground adjacent to the chemical plant.

Praj Industries operates in over 75 countries and has a long experience in delivering ethanol plants based on agricultural residues. Praj Industries has broad engineering expertise that further strengthens SEKAB. Praj can currently offer a variety of technology solutions that enable a fossil-free transition.

Through this collaboration Praj will help to scale up, integrate, and optimize SEKAB’s proprietary CelluAPP technology platform – the latest in softwood residue conversion.

Global climate action is a must, and through this work, SEKAB and Praj can offer solutions for the production of sustainable biofuels, materials, and biochemicals. The market includes, and is not limited by the Nordic countries, the United States, Canada, and other boreal regions around the world where softwood residues are an unused resource, said Tomas Nilsson CEO, SEKAB.

SEKAB’s CelluAPP…

Since 2004, SEKAB has focused on pretreating residual products from the forest through continuous operation at its demo plant in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden. Developed in-house, its CelluAPP technology platform is a proprietary process for pre-treatment of wood residue followed by enzymatic hydrolysis and co-fermentation to produce ethanol along with biogas and lignin.

SEKAB can offer unique process solutions through license sales for pre-treatment, enzymatic saccharification and fermentation technology for forestry residues that can be applied both in new and existing plants but CelluAPP technology needs to be realized on a commercial scale and where Praj will be a very good complement to SEKAB, said Monica Normark, Executive Vice President, SEKAB E-Technology.

SEKAB’s technology platform CelluAPP makes it possible to extract cellulose sugars and lignin from forest or agricultural residues, processing them into for instance biofuels or renewable chemical products. The technology can be used in new biorefineries, or to develop existing facilities.

SEKAB’s technology platform CelluAPP makes it possible to extract cellulose sugars and lignin from forest or agricultural residues, processing them into for instance biofuels or renewable chemical products. The technology can be used in new biorefineries, or to develop existing facilities.

The company already offers biochemicals and advanced biofuels derived from bioethanol. This collaboration becomes extremely important by putting the technology it developed specifically for forestry residues such as sawdust from softwood into action in order to further increase bioethanol production globally.

Renewable chemicals and biofuels made from renewable ethanol instead of fossil oil play an important role in a fossil-free future. Customers’ interest in renewable chemicals and biofuels has increased significantly in recent years. This collaboration is simply great! Here we have two technology companies come together that have worked for decades on two different continents but with the same ulterior motives. The goal is the reduction of our climate footprint for future generations through the development of novel technical solutions, said Tomas Nilsson.

…complements Praj’s ‘enfinity’

In India, Praj’s proprietary ‘enfinity’ technology to process agricultural residue such as bagasse, rice straw, wheat straw, corn stover, cotton stalk, and empty fruit bunches (EFBs) to produce advanced biofuels, has won the confidence of the oil and gas industry.

In 2017, Praj Industries opened India’s first integrated biorefinery demonstration plant for second-generation (2G) ethanol a 1-million litre-per-annum facility built using its proprietary ‘enfinity’ technology platform (photo courtesy Praj).

Praj has already licensed enfinity technology to four oil marketing companies (OMCs) in India companies to set up integrated biorefineries which are in various stages of implementation.

We are pleased to extend our enfinity platform to now process forest residue as feedstock based on SEKAB’s CelluAPP technology. This partnership will offer sustainable decarbonization solutions through a circular bioeconomy, said Pramod Chaudhari, Executive Chairman, Praj.

Chaudhari further added that this association with SEKAB, one of Europe’s leading chemical and environmental technology companies will help fulfill the Renewable Energy Directive (RED-II) mandate in Europe and California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) in the US.

Both companies will jointly pursue identified commercial opportunities in Northern Europe to support projects catering to environmental protection and bioenergy.

This agreement will provide a strong platform to service emerging opportunities in sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) as well as renewable chemicals, strengthening India’s position in the advanced biofuels market globally, remarked Pramod Chaudhari.

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