Ethanol '07: Abengoa seeks fractionating process

21 February 2007 16:18  [Source: ICIS news]

TUCSON, Arizona (ICIS news)--US biofuels producer Abengoa Bioenergy said on Wednesday it is trying to develop a fractionating technology while seeking to incorporate the cellulosic process into the existing ethanol stream.

"We want to develop a fractionating technology to break down the biomass into its various components," said executive vice president Gerston Santos-Leon.

Integration with existing technology will provide the best commercial route for cellulosic ethanol, Santos-Leon told the National Ethanol Conference in Tucson, Arizona.

Abengoa intends to build on existing corn and sugar technology and integrate cellulosic biomass ethanol production into the present starch technology methods, he said.

The company is using conventional technology now, but supports the biorefinery model for future production of cellulosic ethanol.

"We want to develop a fractionating technology to break down the biomass into its various components," Santos-Leon said.

Getting the best raw materials for the process and ensuring these energy crops were available were key concerns for fractionation technology, he said.

Abengoa has a pilot cellulosic ethanol facility in Nebraska that is scheduled to begin demonstration operations in May. The feedstock has not yet been decided.

Another demonstration plant in Spain should be ready by October. That plant will use wheat straw as the feedstock, Santos-Leon said.

Abengoa Biofuels is a unit of Spanish engineering and technology firm Abengoa, headquartered in Seville.

The conference ends on Wednesday.
By: Judith Taylor
+1 713 525 2653

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