New Ethanol Start-up in Sweden

One of the world’s most energy-efficient bioethanol production plants is currently being commissioned in Norrkoping, Sweden by Austrian firm Vogelbusch GmbH. With a weekly output of more than 3 million liters of bioethanol from grain, the multi-pressure system is the biggest in northern Europe, the company said.

The multipressure system achieves its efficiency by recycling steam used in the distillation process by the use of several distillation columns with different steam pressures. These columns combine to bring about a reduction in steam consumption of more than 50% over conventional technologies. The plant will be operated by Swedish company Lantmännen Agroetanol and a nearby biomass power station supplies the required process energy.

“Anyone who is serious about reducing CO2 emissions opts for bioethanol production from sugar or starch-based raw materials such as grain, because there are currently no industrial-scale processes for producing bioethanol using other alternative raw materials. In fact, even if the production of bioethanol from other raw materials is up-scaled in the future, this process will still be more energy-intensive than production from sugar or starch-based raw materials,” said Dr. Torsten Schulze from Vogelbusch.

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