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Clariant ethanol plant certified as sustainable

Chemicals specialist Clarian has received International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC) for its cellulosic ethanol demonstration plant in Straubing, Germany, which was opened in July 2012.

The certificate confirms that the cellulosic ethanol from agricultural residues produced with Clariant’s sunliquid technology is compliant with the sustainability criteria set out in the European Renewable Energy Directive (RED).

The biotechnological sunliquid process converts agricultural residues such as wheat straw, corn stover and sugarcane bagasse sustainably and efficiently into cellulosic ethanol. Clariant plans to market the sunliquid process globally, with Europe as one of the core regions.

"The certification of the Straubing plant is a further milestone in the commercialisation of the sunliquid technology," said Hariolf Kottmann, CEO of Clariant. 

ISCC is one of two certification procedures for the sustainability of biofuels that are recognized in Germany (the other is REDcert). ISCC focuses on cutting greenhouse gas emissions, sustainable land use, the protection of natural habitats and social sustainability.

"The ISCC certificate allows us to demonstrate even more clearly to potential partners the efficiency of our technology and the quality of the product from the Straubing plant. Thanks to the 95% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions enabled by the sunliquid technology, we can offer an almost carbon-neutral process solution," claimed Markus Rarbach, head of Clariant’s biofuels & derivatives project. "This creates important added value for future plant operators, because only certified biofuels can be counted toward the legally prescribed targets."

European laws on biofuels are based mainly on the RED directive, which sets a target for 10% of the energy used in the transport sector to come from renewable sources by the year 2020. Particular importance is attached to advanced biofuels such as cellulosic ethanol, which are not based on foodstuffs and do not cause competition for crop land. These fuels also generate great reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. 

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