Celanese seeks to be low-cost industrial ethanol producer in Asia

31 January 2012 20:11  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US-based acetyls producer Celanese expects to become the low-cost industrial ethanol producer in Asia with its TCX technology, the company said on Tuesday.

Celanese can produce ethanol from natural gas or coal by using acetic acid as an intermediary, according to a recent patent.

Typically, companies make non-biobased ethanol by using ethylene as a feedstock.

For ethanol used for industrial applications, Celanese would become the low-cost producer in Asia, said said Steven Sterin, president of the company's advanced fuel technologies business. He made his comments during an earnings conference call.

He said Celanese's cost position for industrial ethanol would be comparable with its position for acetyls.

"That's why we think we can capture a significant portion of the growth in China," Sterin said.

For fuel ethanol, Sterin said the region does not have a lot of available biomass.

As a result, fuel ethanol competes against oil. Oil prices, moreover, have shown resilience versus coal-based products, he said.

Celanese plans to begin ethanol-from-coal production in China in 2013, using its TCX technology.

By: Al Greenwood
+1 713 525 2645

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