Current (2011) production of second generation fuel ethanol

To date most fuel ethanol produced comes from first generation processes and volumes produced in 2009 rose to 76 billion liters for the year. Most fuel ethanol produced from second generation processes involving biomass are currently produced in pilot and demonstration plants and this technology has not been extensively established. There are a number of commercial plants that are planned for the future as well as a number of plants for which construction has begun. So far the following companies that i have come across have established second generation production facilities are:

1. Iogen – based in Canada, this company opened its demonstration facility in 2004 and is capable of handling 30 tons of biomass per day which corresponds to 5000 – 6000L of cellulosic ethanol per day. Their technology is based on a modified steam explosion process followed by enzymatic hydrolysis and fermentation.

2. Inbicon – based in Denmark, this company opened its first pilot plant in 2003 capable of processing 2.4 metric tonnes of biomass per day. In 2005 a new plant capable of handling 24 metric tonnes of biomass per day. Their technology is based on hydrothermal pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass at around 180-200ºC for 5-15 minutes, followed by enzymatic hydrolysis and fermentation.

3. Weyland Bioethanol – Opened in October 2010, this company has set up a pilot plant in Normway operating a concentrated acid hydrolysis process. The plant has a capacity equivelent to around 200 000 Litres per year of bio-ethanol.

Inbicon Hydrothermal Pretreatment plant

If you have any information regarding other demonstration of commercial second generation bio-ethanol refineries please let me know.

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