Valmet has agreed with Clariant on the delivery of a BioTrac biomass pretreatment system for their sunliquid ®cellulosic ethanol plant in Romania.

The order is included in Valmet's third quarter 2018 orders received. The value of the order will not be disclosed. The start-up is planned for 2020.

The new plant, with an annual production capacity of 50,000 tonnes of cellulosic ethanol, will be built in southwestern Romania. The facility will be a flagship site, confirming the competitiveness and sustainability of the company's sunliquid technology on a commercial scale, supporting Clariant's sunliquid licensing business strategy.

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.

"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," comments Markus Rarbach, Head of Business Line Biofuels & Derivatives at Clariant.

"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," says Mattias Erixon, Manager Sales, Biomass Conversion at Valmet.


About Clariant and sunliquid

Clariant is a leading global specialty chemicals company based in Muttenz, near Basel, Switzerland. In the 2017financial year, Clariant recorded sales of CHF 6.4 billion for its continuing businesses. The company reports in four business areas: Care Chemicals, Catalysis, Natural Resources, and Plastics & Coatings. Clariant's corporate strategy is based on five pillars: focus on innovation through R&D, add value with sustainability, reposition portfolio, intensify growth, and increase profitability.

Clariant's sunliquid technology converts agricultural residue such as wheat straw into cellulosic ethanol, an advanced, sustainable and practically carbon-neutral biofuel. The process design for sunliquid is fully integrated and built on established process technology. Innovative features such as chemical-free pretreatment, integrated production of feedstock- and process-specific enzymes, and simultaneous C5 and C6 sugar fermentation ensure optimum cost-effectiveness.


Photo Credit: Valmet

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