OSLO, Norway, April 16, 2013 (Press Release) - Borregaard has developed new technology for the production of green chemicals and sugars based on biomass from wood and agricultural and forestry waste. On Tuesday 16 April the Norwegian Finance Minister Sigbjørn Johnsen will officially inaugurate the biorefinery demonstration plant at Borregaard's production facility in Sarpsborg.
The demonstration plant, called Biorefinery Demo, started preliminary operations in summer 2012, followed by normal operations in the 1st quarter of 2013. The plant relies on Borregaard's proprietary BALI technology and is a continuation of today's biorefinery concept. The aim is cost-effective and sustainable production of lignin and bioethanol from new raw materials. BALI technology involves converting the cellulose fibres in biomass to sugars that can be used for the production of second generation bioethanol, while other components of the biomass (lignin) become advanced biochemicals. These products can replace petroleum-based alternatives, and the raw material cannot be used in food production.
BALI technology consists of several processing steps and has given promising results in laboratory-scale testing. In the demonstration plant the process will be upscaled by a factor of 1000 times in order to test and develop the technology moving towards full-scale production. The plant has so far processed over 100 tons of biomass.
"If we succeed with this project, we will be able to establish full-scale production of biochemicals with excellent climate accountability. Biorefinery Demo is a good example of how new technology can contribute to environmental solutions and also be commercially viable," says Borregaard CEO Per A. Sørlie.
Construction of the demonstration plant has cost just under NOK 140 million, 58 million of which is investment funding from Innovation Norway's Environmental Technology Support Scheme. The BALI innovation project has also received NOK 19 million in funding from the Research Council of Norway and NOK 35 million from the EU's Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Development.
Borregaard is one of the world's most advanced biorefineries. Today all the components of wood are used in the production of advanced biochemicals that can replace petroleum-based alternatives. Borregaard's specialty cellulose is used in e.g. filters, adhesives and plastics. Lignin, which binds wood fibres together, is the raw material for a range of products used in concrete admixtures, car batteries and animal feed products. Bioethanol is produced from the sugar in wood and is used in biofuels. Borregaard is the world's only producer of the vanilla flavour vanillin from wood.
Borregaard has 1,050 employees in factories and sales offices in 17 countries in Europe, Asia, the Americas and Africa.