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sunliquid®

CONVERTING STRAW TO BIOFUEL WITH SUNLIQUID®

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Reducing dependency on
FOSSIL FUELS AND PROMOTING LOCAL FUEL PRODUCTION
In the face of climate change and dwindling reserves of fossil fuels, the search is on for environmentally compatible alternatives. Automotive sector consumes around 50% of the world’s crude oil production. With sunliquid®, Clariant has developed a process to produce cellulosic ethanol that is a second-generation biofuel distinguished by a first class climate balance.
Challenge
A WELL-KNOWN DILEMMA FOR ALTERNATIVE ENERGY: GROWING CROPS FOR FOOD OR FOR FUEL?

Already existing biofuels have been produced from canola, corn or cereals – edible plants, rising the discussion concerning food or fuel resp. competition for arable land. ­To-date the manufacture of biofuels from non-edible biomass such as straw has been very costly due to expensive enzymes needed and energy-intensive processes.

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Solution
SUNLIQUID® PROCESS CONVERTS ONLY AGRICULTURAL RESIDUES INTO BIOFUEL

The sunliquid® process utilizes only agricultural residues available in the various regions. In a newly developed biotechnological energy-self-sufficient process Clariant has succeeded in converting the difficult to access sugar in straw and other agricultural residues efficiently and economically into biofuel. With its optimized enzymes exactly tailored to the raw material being processed, the process delivers high sugar yields.

 

Solution

SUNLIQUID® PROCESS CONVERTS ONLY AGRICULTURAL RESIDUES INTO BIOFUEL

The sunliquid® process utilizes only agricultural residues available in the various regions. In a newly developed biotechnological energy-self-sufficient process Clariant has succeeded in converting the difficult to access sugar in straw and other agricultural residues efficiently and economically into biofuel. With its optimized enzymes exactly tailored to the raw material being processed, the process delivers high sugar yields.

 

Benefits

ENERGY SELF-SUFFICIENT PROCESS CREATES »GREEN JOBS« AND REDUCES DEPENDENCIES ON FOSSIL FUELS

REDUCED
CO2-EMISSIONS

Greenhouse gas emissions are reduced by 95% compared to fossil fuels.

INCREASED
BIOETHANOL YIELD

Produces 50% more ethanol than previous processes and is able to convert all types of sugar simultaneously.

ENERGY
SELF-SUFFICIENT

No additional energy is needed. The entire process energy originates from the lignin obtained as residue in the biomass.

PROCESS-INTEGRATED
ENZYME PRODUCTION

Minimizing procurement outlays and making the overall process more cost efficient.

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Bio-based Chemicals.

  • Sunliquid®

    The sunliquid® process for the sustainable and economic production of cellulosic ethanol is now fully developed, being designed for industrial plants with a production capacity of 50,000 to 150,000 ton of cellulosic ethanol per year. Clariant provides the know-how and technology for all unit operations on a turnkey basis, coupled with the expertise required for successful implementation. Pre-treatment Chemical-free pre-treatment lowers production and investment costs. At the same time, environmental, health and safety risks are minimized. Enzyme production A small percentage of the pre-treated feedstock is used for enzyme production, which is an integrated part of the process and takes place on-site at the ethanol plant. This makes a major contribution to the economic efficiency of the overall process, resulting in a significant reduction in production costs and ensuring independence from supply shortages and price volatility. Hydrolysis A bespoke enzyme mixture hydrolyses cellulose and hemicellulose chains to form sugar monomers. This step is also termed saccharification. The enzymes are highly optimized based on feedstock and process parameters, resulting in maximum yields and short reaction times under optimal conditions. Fermentation Using optimized microorganisms, the sunliquid® process provides for efficient fermentation, giving rise to maximum ethanol yields. This highly-optimized, one-pot system simultaneously converts both C5 and C6 sugars to ethanol, delivering up to 50% more ethanol than conventional processes which convert only C6 sugars. Separation The innovative and highly energy saving purification method reduces energy demand by up to 50% compared with conventional distillation. It is based on thorough process planning and energy integration, resulting in an entirely energy self-sufficient process. For more details see our Innovation Spotlight video.

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