Cellulosic Ethanol for Danish Drivers

Inbicon's Biomass Refinery at Kalundborg, Denmark
Inbicon’s Biomass Refinery at Kalundborg, Denmark.

As Statoil rolls out a 5% ethanol blend at 100 selected petrol stations across Denmark, Inbicon reported that it has already begun supplying Statoil with second-generation bioethanol made from wheat straw. Inbicon will be the major supplier of The New Ethanol, as it calls its renewable fuel made from various crop wastes.

“We are very pleased by Statoil’s latest step in offering Danish motorists a choice of cleaner, environmentally responsible fuels,” says Niels Henriksen, CEO of Inbicon. “And we are proud of the part we can play in supplying fuel made from agricultural waste.” The first delivery of second-generation ethanol from Inbicon’s plant to Statoil took place in August and was witnessed by the Danish Minister for Climate and Energy, Lykke Friis.

In 2009, the two companies signed an agreement for Inbicon to supply Statoil with the first five million liters of The New Ethanol produced by the Kalundborg plant, where Inbicon’s biomass conversion technology is being demonstrated. “With the launch of Bio95 2G we have reached yet another milestone. This is the only gasoline in the market with second generation bioethanol developed and produced in Denmark from Danish straw. It is a significant step towards more environmentally friendly fuel,” says Statoil CEO Pia Bach Henriksen.

The Inbicon Biomass Refinery in Kalundborg opened in November 2009, just ahead of the COP15 world climate summit in Copenhagen. Since then Inbicon has proven its process at near-commercial scale. The Kalundborg plant can process 4 metric tons of straw per hour, equivalent to 30,000 metric tons a year. From this 5.4 million liters (1.5 million gallons) of The New Ethanol can be produced a year, along with two other clean, green energy streams.

“We’re producing not only The New Ethanol to replace gasoline, but also a clean lignin biofuel to replace coal,” says Inbicon CEO Henriksen. “Just as important as our renewable energy products is our renewable energy process. The Inbicon Biomass Refinery can demonstrate dramatically improved efficiencies when integrated with a coal-fired power station, grain-ethanol plant, or any CHP (combined heat and power) operation. Symbiotic energy exchange helps our customers build sustainable, carbon-neutral businesses.”

Inbicon is currently working with Clients in the planning of commercial facilities in North America and Asia.

Statoil supplies around one fifth of Denmark’s total oil consumption and operates more than 300 petrol stations in Denmark, including approximately one fifth automat stations under the 1-2-3 brand. The company’s Kalundborg refinery refines oil products, which are either exported or sold in Denmark for use as, for example, transportation fuel or heating oil for private home and commercial property.

Inbicon A/S is a company developing technology for producing ethanol, fuel, and animal feed of non-tree based biomass. Inbicon has operated a pilot plant since 2003 in Skaerbaek at Fredericia, Denmark and is presently operating a demonstration plant in Kalundborg, Denmark. The plant converts wheat straw into ethanol, feed, and lignin pellets. Inbicon is a subsidiary of DONG Energy A/S.

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