Ethanol Technologies ("Ethtec")
Ethanol is being increasingly used worldwide as a renewable liquid fuel for transport. It is used either neat or in blends with petroleum fuels. However conventional ethanol production relies on the sugar and starch content of food crops, and requires the specific planting of these crops for ethanol.
By contrast, Ethtec can convert low-value material, often deemed "waste", into ethanol without the need to utilise primary agricultural sugar or starch resources.
Commercialising second generation ethanol production technology
Ethtec has a world-wide exclusive license to further develop and commercialise patented, laboratory-proven technologies for the production of ethanol from lignocellulosic material such as wood, bagasse (waste from sugar production), crop stubble and municipal green waste. This is generally referred to as "cellulosic ethanol". (See Ethtec Process).
The Ethtec process brings distinct environmental advantages, particularly in relation to low greenhouse gas emissions (see Environmental Benefits) and production advantages (see Industrial Benefits) over other ethanol processes.
The first stage of commercialisation has been the establishment of a scaled pilot plant in New South Wales, Australia to demonstrate the commercial application of the technologies (see Pilot Plant).Phase two has also been completed, proving conversion of sugar cane bagasse and radiata pine to very clean mixed C5 and C6 sugars in a continuous in-line process in less than 10 minutes. This compares favourably with enzymatic hydrolysis processes that can take in excess of 3 days to achieve a similar outcome (see Latest News below). The Ethtec pilot plant is expected to be the first in the world to achieve an economically-feasible and environmentally-sustainable conversion of lignocellulosic material to Ethanol fuel.
There is significant potential to access the associated intellectual property worldwide at each phase of the pilot plant development through license agreements with Ethtec.
The indicative timing to commercialisation is:
- Construction and operation of pilot plant (4 phases): December 2007 - December 2012
- Development of commercial-scale plant: December 2012 - December 2013
- 22 Oct 2012
- Ethtec receives International Recognition
- 16 Oct 2012
- Cellulosic Ethanol Production Technology Set to Revolutionise Timber and Sugar Industries
Pilot Plant Progress
Phase One was successfully completed in 2009.
Phase Two was successfully completed in December 2011.