LIGNOFLAG coordinator Clariant is – on the one hand – developing a licencing and distribution model for the technology to allow its customers such as ethanol producers or oil and mineral companies to deploy their own cellulosic ethanol production facilities. On the other hand, together with the other consortium members, Clariant is elaborating a marketing strategy for cellulosic ethanol, raising awareness among the general public on the advantages of advanced biofuels and the sunliquid® technology and its potential to play a significant role in decarbonizing the transport sector.
Licencing strategy for the sunliquid® technology
Clariant’s business model focuses on licencing its sunliquid® technology. With the new flagship plant, the company intends to demonstrate that the technology is ready for large-scale commercial application, with a promising market potential and low investment risks. The plant gives potential customers hands-on insight into the various steps of the production process and illustrates the advantages of the technology.
Clariant has already successfully commercialized licences for the construction of other cellulosic ethanol plants based on the sunliquid® technology and is providing its customers with know-how and service support during construction and operation of such a facility.
The sunliquid® licence package includes:
- A fully integrated process technology
- Starter cultures for a proprietary, feedstock-specific enzyme production and fermentation organism. Performance runs/Testing on customer-specific feedstock
- Process design package to provide technical specifications and input for engineering
- Technical and engineering support
- Training of employees
With the experience gained by constructing and operating the sunliquid® plant in Romania, the process design package will be further optimized. Future projects will benefit from this experience since new plants will be built faster and in an even more cost-efficient and sustainable way.
Clariant’s licencing model also offers first-generation bioethanol producers to add an advanced cellulosic ethanol production unit to their existing ethanol production facilities.
Product distribution and marketing strategy
Cellulosic ethanol is an advanced, truly sustainable and nearly carbon neutral biofuel that can already be used in Europe`s existing car fleet and energy infrastructure today. In the coming years, with the implementation of the revised “Renewable Energy Directive” on EU level and to meet the international climate commitments to quickly and drastically reduce GHG emissions, the market demand for cellulosic ethanol is expected to increase significantly. To gain more specific insight on market demand and consumer behavior and awareness of advanced biofuels, the LIGNOFLAG Consortium will be conducting a market-survey in key European countries.
Based on the results of this survey, country-specific marketing campaigns will be developed that will support in informing and educating potential customers and end consumers about the technical, environmental and economic advantages of advanced biofuels and more specifically cellulosic ethanol.
To distribute cellulosic ethanol to the end consumer at the retail station, Clariant will be closely working together with bioethanol off-takers, who will blend the ethanol with gasoline and then distribute the fuel to the gas stations.