Clariant forges strategic sunliquid tech partnership with Chemtex in China
Switzerland-headed specialty chemical major Clariant AG has revealed that a strategic partnership has been formed with Chemtex Global Corporation for the realization of second-generation biofuel projects. Under the partnership, the two parties will collaborate to market and sell Clariant’s "sunliquid" cellulosic ethanol technology licenses, as well as services and supplies for advanced biofuel plants in China.
The announcement was made on August 15, 2020, by Clariant’s Business Line Biofuels and Derivatives during a joint presentation at the 7th Asia-Pacific Biomass Utilization Summit in Guangzhou, China.
As the largest passenger car market in the world, the environmental impact posed by transport greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions has become a big challenge for the Chinese government.
In 2017, the State Council of PRC endorsed a new strategic plan – The Plan for Expanding Biofuel Ethanol Production and Promoting Ethanol Usage in Motor Vehicles – to further utilize bioethanol converted from agricultural residues as gasoline for motor vehicles.
Under the nationwide blending mandate proposed, all gasoline used for motor vehicles will need to contain bioethanol as an additive.
Key growth market
Clariant, with its innovative “sunliquid” technology that offers an efficient process for converting agricultural residues into low-emission, carbon-negative biofuel, is fully supporting the rollout of the mandate.
China represents one of the key growth markets for Clariant. This strategic partnership with Chemtex is another milestone reached in our continued pursuit of the corporate goal of Adding Value with Sustainability. It is also pivotal in further strengthening our position in the national 2G biofuels market by providing our customers a comprehensive solution for the development, construction, and commissioning of their commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plants in China along the ‘green’ development path of the country, said Christian Librera, Clariant’s Head of Business Line Biofuels and Derivatives.
In addition to reducing GHG emissions by offering 2G biofuel that is climate-friendly, the sunliquid process also makes great use of agricultural residues, which so far are mostly burned in the fields after harvesting to become a seasonal source of air pollution.
The combined offerings of Clariant and Chemtex will provide a comprehensive package of 2G ethanol technology licenses and Engineering Procurement Construction (EPC) services, enabling customers in China to successfully design, build and operate their own full-scale plants.
While Clariant will offer its sunliquid technology licenses, technical services, and the supply of starter cultures from its proprietary enzyme and yeast platform, Chemtex will be responsible for engineering, procurement, and construction.
As a global industrial solution provider in biofuels, Chemtex has over 40 years of experience in the Chinese market. Following the project with Anhui Guozhen signed at the beginning of this year, we’re delighted to collaborate with Clariant in this strategic partnership. Within this collaboration, both companies will join forces to support our potential customers in China with the development and EPC services of commercial plants for the production of cellulosic ethanol from agricultural residues, said Sean Ma, Chairman, and CEO of Chemtex.
First sunliquid plant underway
In January this year, the first license agreement for Clariant’s sunliquid technology in China was signed between Clariant and its partners Chemtex and Anhui Guozhen, a local green energy company.
Under the license agreement, a full-scale commercial plant with a 50 000 tonnes-per-annual capacity for the production of cellulosic ethanol leveraging Clariant’s sunliquid technology is planned to be built in Fuyang city in the Anhui province.
Globally, there are three other license agreements for Clariant’s sunliquid technology with renowned industry players in Slovakia, Poland, and Bulgaria. In addition, Clariant has its own commercial-scale facility nearing completion in Romania.