India’s Numaligarh Refinery eyes commercial 2G ethanol output by Mar ‘24

Priya Jestin

18-Oct-2023

MUMBAI (ICIS)–India’s Numaligarh Refinery Ltd (NRL) expects to begin trial runs at its 49,000 tonne/year second generation (2G) ethanol plant by December 2023, with commercial output expected by March next year, a company source said.

“This biorefinery is the first in India to use bamboo as feedstock,” he said, adding that once commissioned, the plant will contribute to India’s objective of achieving 20% ethanol blending in petrol by 2025.

In addition to ethanol, the biorefinery will also produce 16,000 tonnes of furfural and 11,000 tonnes of acetic acid annually.

Furfural can be converted into a variety of solvents, polymers and other chemicals and is used in making adhesives, inks, plastics, fertilisers, among others.

NRL plans to export furfural to markets in Europe, the company source said.

The company intends to explore feasibility of setting up smaller projects in other states in northeast India such as Mizoram and Meghalaya which also have an abundance of bamboo feedstock, he added.

NRL has a 50% stake in the biorefinery project, while the remaining 50% is jointly owned by two Finland-based technology and clean energy firms – Chempolis and Fortrum.

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