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Chempolis starts up third-generation biorefinery for producing cellulosic ethanol in Finland

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Chempolis starts up third-generation biorefinery for producing cellulosic ethanol in Finland

May 26, 2010 - 02:33
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OULU, Finland, May 4, 2010 (Press Release) -Chempolis, a pioneer of third-generation biorefining technology, recently commissioned a biorefinery for processing non-food biomass into cellulosic ethanol in Oulu in northern Finland. The new line was officially opened by the Finnish Prime Minister, Matti Vanhanen, on 4 May.

Chempolis' unique third-generation formico® technologies can convert a wide range of non-food biomass generated as agricultural by-products, such as straw and bagasse, into bioethanol, biochemicals, and papermaking fibres both cost-effectively and sustainably. formico® processes are self-sufficient in terms of their energy requirement and produce no greenhouse emissions, and their closed-loop circulation system minimises water consumption.

"The third-generation biorefining technology that we have developed enables us to produce multiple products from agricultural residues using all the vegetable matter they contain, maximising the added value that we can offer. This is a definite plus in terms of both operating costs and the environment," says Matti Sundberg, the Chairman of Chempolis' Board of Directors. "Our formico® technologies are the most significant innovation to have been developed in the field in recent years and opens up some exciting new opportunities for industries such as oil, petrochemicals, energy, and pulp & paper."

The two key members of Chempolis' technology family are formicobioTMfor producing bioethanol and formicofibTMfor producing papermaking fibre. Depending on the needs of its customers, Chempolis can license these and other processes, and supply key equipment, as well as plant engineering, procurement, and commissioning services.

Chempolis has invested some €20 million in its new biorefinery, which also functions as a development and marketing centre for testing customer-sourced raw materials and producing sample batches of bioethanol, biochemicals, and papermaking fibres. The plant is capable of processing 25,000 t/a of non-wood and non-food raw material.

The inauguration in Oulu was attended by Chempolis' customers, partners and representatives of other interest groups from both Finland and abroad. The keynote speakers included the Prime Minister of Finland Matti Vanhanen and Director General, Dr. Veli-Pekka Saarnivaara from Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation. The Prime Minister emphasized the importance of biomass utilisation and provided a historical overview of the development of industrial production in Finland from tar to biochemicals. Veli-Pekka Saarnivaara underlined the importance of biorefining technologies and highlighted, in particular, the potential and implementation of new innovations and technologies.