Enviral to use Clariant's sunliquid cellulosic ethanol technology

Swiss chemicals company Clariant has signed a licence agreement with Slovakia-based bioethanol producer Enviral for the use of sunliquid cellulosic ethanol technology. 

As part of the deal, Enviral has gained a licence to use Clariant's sunliquid technology to design, build and operate a new full-scale commercial cellulosic ethanol plant at its Leopoldov site in Slovakia for the production of cellulosic ethanol from agricultural residues. 

To be owned and operated by Enviral, the new plant is planned to be integrated into the existing facilities at Enviral's Leopoldov site with an annual production capacity of 50,000t.

The plant will use the sunliquid technology and starter cultures from Clariant's enzyme and yeast platforms to process Enviral feedstock into cellulosic ethanol.

Clariant Executive Committee member Christian Kohlpaintner said: "We are excited to announce this first licence deal for our sunliquid technology. It marks our official entrance into the market and the successful commercialisation of this highly innovative and sustainable technology.

"This step comes as a logical consequence 0f Clariant's successful innovation strategy and will provide additional growth above and beyond Clariant's current strong portfolio. Cellulosic ethanol has significant potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and we are proud in making it a reality."

The companies have conducted extensive tests of Enviral's feedstock with Clariant's technology to ensure effective and efficient compatibility.

Carried out at Clariant's pre-commercial sunliquid demonstration plant in Straubing, Germany, the tests have provided excellent results and formed the basis for the project decision. 

Construction of the new plant is scheduled to start by the end of this year.

"Cellulosic ethanol has significant potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions."

Enviral CEO Matej Sabol said: "Thanks to the cooperation with Clariant, the Slovak plant of Enviral will be one of the first plants in Europe to start commercial production of advanced biofuel. 

"Now, thanks to the advanced technology, we can turn it into reality and help Slovakia meet the targets for advanced biofuels in the European Union."

In order to further commercialise the sunliquid technology, the Swiss firm has decided to set-up a new Business Line Biofuels, as part of the Business Area Catalysis.

The new business will be responsible for further developing the biofuels business across the board and report its performance.

Image: Enviral will use Clariant's sunliquid at its Leopoldov site. Photo: © Clariant.