Defra's gormless man in the House of Lords Lord Jeff" Rooker "officially" opened the UK’s first bioethanol plant opened which is operated by British Sugar’s Wissington factory in Norfolk yesterday. It is planned to produce 70 million litres of bioethanol annually from locally-grown sugar beet.
Production trials finally started at the £20Mn. plant at Wissington in September with commercial deliveries starting at the end of September. "The plant will be completed and operational by February 2007 and will manufacture 55,000 tonnes (70 million litres) of bioethanol each year." - British Sugar Press release Jan 26th 2006 when Baroness Gillian Shephard of Northwold attended a breaking ground ceremony at the site.
“Sustainable biofuels can play an important role in reducing our carbon footprint and I am pleased to see the UK is leading the way in promoting sustainable biofuel production,” Lord Rooker said - as Brazil have been producing ethanol from sugar for over 20 years it is difficult to see how the UK leads the way.
British Sugar chief executive Mark Carr is quoted saying that “We are delighted to take the UK lead in this exciting new industry. Against a background of unprecedented change in the European sugar industry we are transforming our business.”
Wissington also provides its own electricity and exports up to 50Mw to the national supply network from a 50Mw gas turbine and a 30Mw steam turbine. The combined heat and power (CHP) plant also provides heat and carbon dioxide to the adjacent horticulture business, which produces tomatoes under 11ha of glass.
New bioethanol plant at Saltend Hull
BS has also entered a joint venture with BP and DuPont to build a 420million litre bioethanol plant at Saltend, Hull. UK-grown wheat will be used to supply the plant and production is expected to come on stream in 2009.
The commercial-scale plant will convert a variety of feedstocks, from wheat and sugar beet to ethanol, and will produce 420 million litres of fuel ethanol a year. Wheat will be sourced locally via an agreement between the joint venture and two other ABF businesses, Frontier Agriculture and AB Agri.
BP and the ABF subsidiary British Sugar plc will each own 45% of the new grass roots facility, with DuPont owning the remaining 10%.Of the £200MN construction costs The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing £60m at an "attractive rate of interest". When operating the plant will require 70 staff.
Biobutanol in the future
A biobutanol pilot plant is planned to run alongside the bioethanol plant which will be used to develop the next generation of sustainable biofuels (capable of producing 20,000 l a year) from a wider variety of feedstocks.
Aker Kvaerner are leaders of the construction consortium to execute the Front-End Engineering and Design (FEED) for the project. Aker Kvaerner will then work on the project in conjunction with its joint venture (BioCnergy Europa) partner Praj Industries (Praj) from India to provide the technology and process package.
In June 2007 Aker Kvaerner formed a joint venture with Praj Industries,(with global experience in alcohol and brewery technology and related bioprocessing and engineering) to form a new company called BioCnergy Europa. Praj holds 60% in BioCnergy, while Aker Kvaerner holds 40% of the shareholding.The Company will be headed by Ronald van der Vlist, presently Director of Technology at Aker Kvaerner who claims ,"'There is no equivalent Company which operates exclusively for the biofuels industry offering turnkey solutions".
The bioethanol plant will be constructed in conjunction with a biobutanol pilot plant which will be used to develop the next generation of sustainable biofuels (capable of producing 20,000 l a year) from a wider variety of feedstocks.
Biobutanol can be used in engines with little conversion and has been put forward as the clean fuel for aircraft ( bearded wonder Richard Branson of Virgin Atlantic hopes to run his fleet of aircraft on butanol and is investing other people's money in the technology).
See also the total fucking failure of biofuels in the region Saturday, July 14, 2007 - Biofuels plc - all that is green is not golden
See Tuesday, June 12, 2007 The Problem With Biobutanol for a useful report about this much hyped fuel . e.g Butanol is obtained by fermentation of biomass using Clostridium acetobutylicum (which Weizmann used for producing acetone).Butanol inhibits cell growth even at relatively low concentrations, and its final titers are limited to ca. 13 g/liter = 1.3% butanol which then requires distillation and the use of more energy.
You can also visit http://www.butanol.com/ a site unashamedly hyping the product.e.g