India's First Demonstration-Scale Cellulosic Ethanol Biorefinery Set to Open

godavari sugar mills limited plant photo

photo: GSML

Though there aren't exactly many commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plants operating in the world—the first in the US recently received approval to be built though has yet to come online—demonstration-scale projects are popping up with greater frequency. The latest such project to come onto the radar is one being built in the Indian state of Karnataka.

Developed by Godavari Sugar Mills Ltd in Sameerwadi, Karnataka, the biorefinery will use sugarcane bagasse (the fiber which is left over after the juice has been pressed out) to produce ethanol. The project, which is being undertaken in cooperation with the National Chemical Laboratory, a lab associated with the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, hopes to be able to process about 5,000 tonnes of raw material within four years. Final Fuel Output, Financials Not Apparent
The financial terms of the project, nor how much cellulosic ethanol is expected to be produced, are not readily apparent. Currently, GSML reports that it can produce 95 million liters/year of ethanol from non-cellulosic sources.

Cellulose to be Used for More Than Fuel
In addition to fuel, the facility will be using sugarcane bagasse to manufacture a variety of other value-added products: paper, cardboard, textiles, water-soluble adhesives, and others. The director of the NCL was quoted in the original LiveMint article as saying, "Just being able to derive ethanol from a biorefinery will never make it viable. It's crucial to be able to extract as many value-added products as possible."

via :: LiveMint and :: Godavari Sugar Mills Ltd
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