Bioethanol Gains Reputation on a Global Scale as a Renewable Energy Resource

Sumitomo Corporation has inked a deal with Axens North America, a provider of bioethanol technology, and Allotrope Partners, an American advisory and investment firm focusing on clean energy, to embark on a collaborative endeavor. This joint venture aims to explore the feasibility of commercially producing bioethanol from woody biomass within the state of California.

The global acclaim for bioethanol as a renewable energy source has prompted Sumitomo to join forces with its partners. This sustainable solution holds promise for countries striving for carbon neutrality, serving as a versatile resource for producing biofuels like Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) and bio-based chemicals.

Compared to ethanol derived from alternative sources, cellulosic bioethanol derived from woody biomass boasts lower carbon intensity and potential for scalable, sustainable growth, as affirmed by the corporation.

The primary objective of this undertaking is the direct extraction of bioethanol from woody biomass. The chosen feedstock is anticipated to be locally-sourced forest thinning materials and agricultural residues, abundant in California. The envisioned outcome is an annual production of approximately 60,000 tons of bioethanol.

The resulting ethanol will find its primary purpose in the production of SAF and bio-based chemicals, both of which are experiencing an increasing demand. An added advantage is the project’s utilization of forest thinning byproducts, contributing to the mitigation of forest fire risks, as highlighted by Sumitomo.

Furthermore, Sumitomo aims to explore potential environmental benefits beyond bioethanol production. This includes the study of carbon dioxide capture and utilization (CCU) using carbon-neutral CO2 generated during the bioethanol production process. Additionally, effective utilization of fermentation process residues to produce biogas is under consideration.


  • Samson Adeyemo

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