Clariant gets approval for cellulosic ethanol plant in Romania


Clariant has secured an approval from its board of directors to invest in a new full-scale commercial plant in south-west Romania to produce cellulosic ethanol.

With an annual capacity of 50,000t, the plant will use Clariant’s sunliquid technology to produce cellulosic ethanol from agricultural residues, including wheat straw and corn stover that will be sourced from local farmers.

Clariant seeks to support its sunliquid licensing business with its new facility.

Clariant Start-up Business Biofuels and Derivatives head Markus Rarbach said: “After five years of operating our pre-commercial sunliquidplant in Straubing, Germany, and thorough process demonstration we are now ready to scale-up to the next level.

“It is the next big step into an attractive market and a significant advancement in the successful commercialisation of this highly innovative and sustainable technology.” 

"It is the next big step into an attractive market and a significant advancement in the successful commercialisation of this highly innovative and sustainable technology."

Clariant plans to carry out detailed engineering studies before starting the construction of plant, which is planned for next year.

The facility is expected to produce its first batch of product in 2020. At full capacity, the plant will be able to process roughly 250,000t of wheat straw and other cereal straw annually.

By-products produced from the process will be used to generate renewable energy.

Cellulosic ethanol is an advanced and sustainable biofuel that is almost carbon neutral. Using agricultural residue, cellulosic ethanol is capable of increasing the production of biofuels to new feedstocks and improved performance.

Cellulosic sugars, which are produced by converting wheat straw, could also help in the production of bio-based chemicals.