Switzerland-headed specialty chemical company Clariant AG has announced that it has produced the first commercial cellulosic ethanol at its "sunliquid" production plant in Podari, Romania.
In September 2018, Clariant held the groundbreaking ceremony for the project in Podari, and in October 2021, construction was completed.
Since then, the plant underwent a thorough commissioning process resulting in the successful start of production.
Protecting the climate is a central part of our purpose ‘Greater chemistry – between people and planet’, said Conrad Keijzer, CEO at Clariant.
Approximately 50 000 tonnes of second-generation biofuels will be derived from 250 000 tonnes of locally sourced agricultural residues.
Contracts have been signed with more than 300 local farmers to ensure the supply of the necessary feedstock.
Sustainable fuels and chemicals
Built on a 10-hectare area, the Podari sunliquid plant employs a workforce numbering approximately 100.
The advanced biofuel produced by the sunliquid technology process supports the decarbonization of the transport sector by providing up to 120 percent CO2 savings compared to fossil fuel, said Christian Librera, Head of Business Line Biofuels and Derivative at Clariant.
The cellulosic ethanol produced at this plant can be applied as a drop-in solution for fuel blending but also offers further downstream application opportunities for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and biobased chemicals.
Biofuels and biochemicals made from agricultural waste play a crucial role, since they reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To establish their use more widely, their commercial production and availability must be increased rapidly, which is why the successful start of our sunliquid plant in Podari is so vital, Conrad Keijzer said.
The entire offtake is contracted with a multi-year agreement to Shell, a leading global energy company.
Shell aims to be material, profitable supplier of sustainable advanced low-carbon fuels as part of its wider work to become a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050.
Low-carbon fuels are essential for helping our customers to decarbonize their businesses, said Geoff Mansfield, General Manager for Low-Carbon Fuels at Shell Trading and Supply.
Building a more sustainable future is at the core of what drives Clariant to develop innovative solutions.
It is particularly encouraging to see that despite the global pandemic, we have successfully managed to start production in our flagship sunliquid cellulosic ethanol plant on schedule. This proves that Clariant’s technology is commercially deployable and accelerates our licensing business strategy. I would like to express my sincere thanks to all colleagues and partners involved, ended Christian Librera.