Energy loss is a major problem in many industries. For example, in condensing power plants only about 30 percent of the raw materials are used for energy production, the rest is cooled off. This is not acceptable for any raw material, fossil or renewable. By integrating the cellulose-based ethanol plant with other types of industries, the energy in the raw materials can be used as optimally as possible. Studies conducted by both SEKAB and others show that as much as 75 to 85 percent of the energy input can be utilised as sellable products. If you also have a mutual infrastructure such as existing tank storage, boilers, and the like you can also reduce your investments.
If a facility for cellulosic ethanol is integrated with an existing first generation ethanol plant it has been estimated that the manufacturing costs will be competitive with conventional technologies. The advantage is major carbon reduction, and almost infinite raw material resources.
The process converts lignocellulosic materials into ethanol, biogas and lignin. The lignin can be burned to provide power and heat in the operation of both the ethanol plant and the cellulose annex and thus eliminate the need for fossil energy. The biogas produced can, as with the lignin, also contribute to the plant’s energy balance directly or can be further processed into vehicle fuel and sold.