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First shipment of EcoCeres cellulosic ethanol to Europe

First shipment of EcoCeres cellulosic ethanol to Europe
On May 26, 2023, EcoCeres completed the loading of its first shipment of cellulosic ethanol from China to Europe for blending in gasoline (photo courtesy EcoCeres).

EcoCeres, Inc., an Asia-based innovative biorefinery company with strong R&D capability, has announced its first shipment of 100 percent agricultural waste-derived cellulosic ethanol to the European markets, a milestone the company achieved after commissioning a second cellulosic ethanol biorefinery in China.

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According to a statement, this milestone shipment distinguishes EcoCeres as a company capable of producing a diverse range of renewable advanced biofuels, such as sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), renewable diesel (aka HVO), and cellulosic ethanol.

This achievement is made possible through its in-house developed technology and own biomass refinery platform positioned to meet the growing market demand and regulatory requirements for renewable transportation fuels.

Cellulosic ethanol destined for Europe

The shipment consists of 850 tonnes of cellulosic ethanol made from agricultural waste primarily corn cobs, which the company says reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by over 80 percent compared to conventional fossil fuels and is in alignment with the European Union’s Renewable Energy Directive (RED) as an advanced biofuel.

As one of the few companies globally with the capacity to produce cellulosic ethanol at an industrial scale, EcoCeres is well-positioned to meet the growing demand for advanced biofuels. This shipment of cellulosic ethanol signifies EcoCeres’ breakthrough success to reverse the lignocellulosic agricultural waste back to its original sugar forms, paving the way for sustainable aviation fuel to be produced through further alcohol-to-jet conversion, said Philip Siu, Co-Founder and CEO of EcoCeres.

Proprietary technology

In the International Energy Agency (IEA) Net Zero scenario, production of advanced ethanol would need to grow by 1 150 percent [or over twelve-fold from 2021 to 2030.

EcoCeres is developing a proprietary technology pathway to convert agricultural waste, such as corn cob and straw (aka corn stover), into valuable waste-based biofuels and biopolymers which drive the energy and material transitions for attaining carbon neutrality.

This initial shipment of cellulosic ethanol is an important step for EcoCeres to evolve into a world-leading advanced biorefinery on sustainable biomass.

The company currently has two cellulosic ethanol plants operating in Hebei Province and a renewable diesel plant in Jiangsu Province.

Our innovative approach to producing cellulosic ethanol entirely from agricultural waste not only supports a sustainable future but also strengthens our position in the renewable fuels market. Our unique differentiator is being able to effectively separate hemicellulose, cellulose, and lignin, using each in high-value processes or end products, economically and sustainably, said Dr Bin Xu, COO of EcoCeres Agricultural Waste Business.

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