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Markus Rarbach – on behalf of his entire team – is honored for his contribution to the development of a new highly integrated technology, sunliquid®, which enables production of cellulosic ethanol from agricultural residues.
Cellulosic ethanol is an advanced, sustainable and practically carbon-neutral biofuel. It is produced from agricultural residues such as wheat straw and corn stover which is supplied by farmers. The straw is converted into cellulosic sugars. This is followed by fermentation to produce cellulosic ethanol. By using plant residues, cellulosic ethanol can extend the current production of biofuels to new feedstock and contributes to optimizing the efficiency and sustainability of biofuels. Cellulosic sugars also have the potential to serve as a building block for future production of bio-based chemicals.
The sunliquid® technology offers a fully integrated process design built on established process technology. Innovative technology features such as chemical-free pre-treatment, the integrated production of feedstock- and process-specific enzymes, and simultaneous C5 and C6 sugar fermentation ensure optimum cost-effectiveness.
“By recognizing this innovation we want to underline the growing significance of biocatalytic syntheses in making our world a better place,” said sponsor of the prize Prof. Erhard Meyer-Galow.
“It is a great honor for Clariant that Markus Rarbach and his team are recognized with the Meyer-Galow prize,” stated Clariant’s Chairman of the Board of Directors Hariolf Kottmann. “The sunliquid technology is not only highly important for Clariant, but trend-setting for the development of sustainable and advanced biofuels globally.”
Following the successful development of the sunliquid® technology, Clariant recently started construction of its first commercial sunliquid® ethanol plant in Romania. The flagship facility will have an annual production capacity of 50,000 tons of ethanol, first batches of product are expected to be delivered in 2020. The new facility will generate green jobs, business opportunities and economic growth in this rural area. With this new flagship plant, Clariant intends to demonstrate that the large-scale production of cellulosic ethanol on the basis of the sunliquid® process is technically mature and economically viable.
About the Meyer-Galow Prize for Business Chemistry
The Meyer-Galow Prize for Business Chemistry is awarded annually to scientists in German-speaking countries who have been instrumental in a recent chemical innovation with a focus on sustainability that has been successfully introduced to the market. The prize, endowed with 10,000 Euro, is sponsored by the Meyer-Galow Foundation for Business Chemistry, founded by Prof. Erhard Meyer-Galow, former CEO of Huels AG and former President of GDCh.
The prize was presented in a ceremony on 14 November, 2018 in the Clariant Innovation Center (CIC) in Frankfurt-Höchst, Germany by Matthias Urmann, President of German Chemical Society.