Romania: Carbon Neutral Biofuels Construction of Clariant’s Maiden Commercial Cellulosic Ethanol Unit Completed

Editor: Ahlam Rais

Clariant has completed the construction of its plant in Podari, Romania. Expected to produce ~50,000 tons of cellulosic ethanol per annum, the unit is claimed to be the first full-scale commercial sunliquid unit for the production of cellulosic ethanol from agricultural residues.

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Clariant’s flagship commercial sunliquid cellulosic ethanol plant in Romania.
Clariant’s flagship commercial sunliquid cellulosic ethanol plant in Romania.
(Source: Clariant)

Muttenz/Switzerland – Clariant has recently announced the official completion of its sunliquid cellulosic ethanol plant in Podari, Romania. The completed construction is an important next step for the commercial deployment of the sunliquid technology and thus supports Clariant’s sunliquid licensing business strategy. The facility will be operational in the fourth quarter, producing cellulosic ethanol from agricultural residues.

Conrad Keijzer, Chief Executive Officer at Clariant, commented, “Biofuels and biochemicals produced from agricultural residues play a key role in reducing our carbon footprint. This investment and the successful commercialization of this new technology represents a major milestone for Clariant and is a further proof point for our ambitious growth strategy, led by innovations that contribute to a more sustainable world.”

This investment also brings substantial economic benefits to the region. By locally sourcing feedstock, greenhouse gas emission reduction can be maximized. Also, additional business opportunities will arise along the regional value chain. Co-products produced by the process will be used for the generation of renewable energy, making the plant independent of fossil energy sources. Therefore, the resulting cellulosic ethanol is an almost carbon neutral second-generation biofuel. Besides application as a drop-in solution for fuel blending, this offers further downstream application opportunities into bio-based chemicals and for sustainable aviation fuel.

The plant in Podari, Dolj county, is built on a 10-hectare area on which construction was initiated in 2019 with up to 800 workers onsite. Contracts with more than 300 local farmers have been signed to ensure the supply of the necessary feedstock.