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Valmet to supply biomass pretreatment system to Clariant in Romania

Finland-headed forest industry and energy technology major Valmet Oyj has announced that it has agreed with Clariant on the delivery of a BioTrac biomass pretreatment system for the Clariant sunliquid cellulosic ethanol plant being built in Podari, Romania. The startup of the 50 000 tonnes-per-annum advanced biofuels plant is planned for 2020.

Valmet representatives Mattias Erixon (left) Mats Arnberg and Robert Mohr at Clariant’s groundbreaking event in Podari.

In mid-September Switzerland-headed specialty chemicals major Clariant held a groundbreaking ceremony in Podari, southwestern Romania marking the construction start of the new plant. Using cereal straw as the feedstock, the flagship facility will have an annual production capacity of 50 000 tonnes of cellulosic ethanol, confirming the competitiveness and sustainability of the company’s proprietary sunliquid technology on a commercial scale, supporting Clariant’s sunliquid licensing business strategy.

Valmet has agreed with Clariant on the delivery of a BioTrac biomass pretreatment system for the plant in Romania. The value of the order will not be disclosed.

We have successfully been using Valmet’s pretreatment system in our pre-commercial sunliquid plant in Straubing for six years already. During this time, we have closely worked with Valmet to verify and precisely optimize the pre-treatment process for sunliquid. We are confident that we have a reliable partner in Valmet for our sunliquid plant in Romania, commented Markus Rarbach, Head of Business Line Biofuels & Derivatives at Clariant.

The delivery includes a BioTrac biomass pretreatment system with a capacity of over 800 tonnes of dry biomass a day, as well as all main parts for biomass dosing, the reactor, the feeding system to the reactor, and steam separation. The pretreatment phase is an essential step in cellulosic ethanol production, and the goal is to make the cellulose accessible for further processing.

This is a very important milestone for Valmet, being the first commercial-sized BioTrac plant for cellulosic ethanol. We are very proud to receive this order from our long-term partner Clariant, who knows our system inside and out after six years of operation at their demo plant in Straubing, said Mattias Erixon, Manager Sales, Biomass Conversion at Valmet.

A Valmet BioTrac pretreament system (image courtesy Valmet).

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