May 31, 2020

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Clariant signs license agreement on sunliquid® cellulosic ethanol technology in China
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Photo courtesy of Clariant

Swiss specialty chemical company Clariant has signed a license agreement on sunliquid® cellulosic ethanol technology with Anhui Guozhen Group, a Chinese green energy company, and Chemtex Chemical Engineering, a multinational engineering company.

The Anhui Guozhen Group and Chemtex have agreed to form a joint venture with the aim of realizing a full scale commercial plant for the production of cellulosic ethanol from agricultural residues. In this framework, Clariant has granted a license for its sunliquid® cellulosic ethanol technology to the joint venture.

The project development and plant operation will be executed by the joint venture at a greenfield site in Fuyang city in the Anhui province, in the Yangtze-Huai River region in East China, utilizing available land, owned by the Anhui Guozhen Group, and existing infrastructure network in the surrounding. 

The annual plant production capacity is planned to be 50.000 tons of cellulosic ethanol, with an option to double the capacity in a second phase (50.000 tons in each phase), making it one of the largest in China so far. Detailed project evaluations and preparations for the engineering phase are well underway. The project execution is pending a final agreement of certain government contracts for the project.

“For Clariant, China represents a core growth market where we want to further strengthen our position. The country is aiming to achieve a 10% bioethanol content in transportation fuels nationwide in the next few years. These regulatory commitments offer substantial growth potential for our sunliquid® technology by spurring demand for advanced biofuels.”, said Hans Bohnen, Clariant CEO. “Hence, the signing of a sunliquid® technology license with two renowned Chinese players is an important strategic milestone to seize those promising business opportunities.”

For the Anhui region this signifies a noteworthy investment in green, sustainable technologies. The area is very much characterized by agriculture, which guarantees the abundance of feedstock for the cellulosic ethanol plant. By locally sourced feedstock, in that case wheat straw and corn stover, greenhouse gas savings can be maximized and additional business opportunities along the entire value and supply chain will arise.

The produced cellulosic ethanol will be utilized in the Chinese regional fuels market as blending material for gasoline to fulfill the national blending mandate. Cellulosic ethanol produced with sunliquid® saves around 95% of greenhouse gases compared to gasoline.

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