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Sinopec needs to improve related technologies to break down barriers to ethanol production from cellulose

wallpapers News 2020-07-13

The technology of producing ethanol from cellulose with agricultural forestry wastes such as straw conforms to China's strategy of green low-carbon energy conservation emission reduction, also conforms to Sinopec's enterprise development strategy of "developing green industry taking a low-carbon development path".

As autumn approaches, straw burning in fields across China will be staged again.

Burning straw will not only produce a large amount of smoke dust, affect the surrounding road traffic cause haze, even cause casualties.

In fact, straw other agricultural forestry wastes are important raw materials for ethanol production from cellulose.

Recently, Wu Xinxiong, director of the state energy administration, proposed at the 13th five year plan energy planning work conference that we should actively develop renewable energy including biomass energy, strengthen the research demonstration of advanced biomass energy technologies, focus on the development of a new generation of non grain fuel ethanol.

However, the second generation fuel ethanol technology, which can avoid "competing with people for food", is still in the research experimental stage in China.

Recently, the reporter of China Science News learned from China Petrochemical Corporation (hereinafter referred to as Sinopec) that the R & D team of Sinopec its partners has formed a complete set of cellulosic ethanol production technology after seven years investment of hundreds of people.

The prospect of ethanol production from cellulose is promising.

Fuel ethanol is a kind of biomass energy, which is renewable environmentally friendly.

It is the only renewable energy that can be stored transported.

At present, fuel ethanol has been widely used in developed countries in Europe America developing countries such as Brazil.

China began to use fuel ethanol in 2001, has become the third largest producer application country of biofuel ethanol in the world after Brazil the United States.

With the rapid development of fuel ethanol industry, the global food security problem caused by the first generation of fuel ethanol based on food crops has become increasingly prominent.

In this situation, international energy giants have begun to develop the second generation biofuel technology based on lignocellulosic plants such as agricultural forestry wastes, hoping to replace the first generation of fuel ethanol greatly alleviate the threat of fuel ethanol to food security.

Chen Dong, an engineer in the Pharmaceutical Technology Office of Sinopec Shanghai Engineering Co., Ltd., told China science news that cellulose ethanol technology is a technology that uses agricultural forestry wastes such as straw as the main raw materials to produce fuel ethanol.

Compared with the first generation of fuel ethanol, the second generation fuel ethanol has many advantages, such as no competition for food l with grain.

According to statistics, China is rich in straw other agricultural forestry waste resources.

The total amount of straw that can be collected every year is about 700 million tons.

In addition to the loss of paper making, feed, fertilizer returning collection, according to the estimation of the remaining 20% of straw, about 140 million tons of straw can be used to produce ethanol every year.

According to 5 tons of straw to produce 1 ton of ethanol, the potential annual output of cellulose ethanol based on straw can reach 28 million tons, which will play a very important role in reducing China's dependence on crude oil import ensuring China's energy security.

"However, cellulosic ethanol technology is mainly in the hs of Companies in France, Denmark, Italy the United States.

" Chen Dong said.

Compared with European American countries, the technology of ethanol production from cellulose in China is still in the stage of research experiment, there is no commercial model.

Where is the breakthrough of ethanol production from cellulose? Chen Dong told reporters that the technical problems to be solved in the cellulosic ethanol production technology include pretreatment, enzymatic hydrolysis, pentose hexose co fermentation wastewater treatment.

At present, in the aspect of pretreatment, the development of high efficiency, low inhibitor, low energy consumption environment-friendly pretreatment technology the development of large-scale automatic continuous pretreatment device are the key to break through this technical problem.

In the aspect of enzymolysis, screening high activity strains, improving substrate concentration efficiency, developing large-scale continuous enzymolysis reactor have become the key problems to be solved.

"It is also a challenge to obtain efficient, inhibitor resistant low-cost co fermentation strains of pentose hexose.

" Chen Dong said.

In addition, in the aspect of wastewater treatment, the wastewater from cellulose ethanol production belongs to high COD high salt concentration wastewater, the wastewater treatment is more difficult.

Therefore, it is necessary to screen strains with high salt concentration develop wastewater treatment technology with high COD high salt concentration.

In order to solve a series of technical problems in pretreatment, enzymatic hydrolysis, pentose hexose co fermentation wastewater treatment, Sinopec established a cellulose to ethanol technology research development team led by Shanghai Engineering Co., Ltd. participated by Sinopec Fushun Petrochemical Research Institute, Beijing University of chemical technology, Nanjing Forestry University Nanjing University of Technology in 2007 The key technologies of alcohol are integrated.

In 2009, Sinopec signed a strategic framework agreement with COFCO novozyme to systematically transform the original pilot plant of COFCO group carry out pilot test certificate work.

At the end of last year, Sinopec technical team completed the development of 50000 tons of cellulose to ethanol process package, which can provide technical support for the construction of 10000 ton demonstration plant.

Outsting advantages After seven years of research development, Sinopec has developed a complete set of cellulosic ethanol production technologies, mainly including innovative continuous pretreatment technology equipment, high substrate concentration enzymatic hydrolysis continuous enzymatic hydrolysis, construction of lignocellulosic sugar based platform, three tower three effect differential pressure distillation process, three waste treatment energy comprehensive utilization, new biological industry strategy We have completed the development of an annual output of 50000 tons of cellulose to ethanol process package.

A total of 40 patents 28 authorized patents have been applied for, all the technologies have independent intellectual property rights.

Cellulosic ethanol technology using straw other agricultural forestry wastes as raw materials conforms to China's strategy of green low-carbon energy conservation emission reduction, as well as Sinopec's enterprise development strategy of "developing green industry taking the path of low-carbon development".

It is the political social responsibility of Sinopec as an energy chemical company, it is of great importance to ensure China's energy security improve the ecological environment Great significance.

However, despite the breakthrough in technology, the current economic benefits of ethanol from cellulose are still not high.

"This is mainly determined by the stable structural characteristics of lignocellulose, the economic added value of ethanol is not very high at present.

" Chen Dong said.

Sinopec related scientific research team told reporters that in order to improve the economic benefits of ethanol production from cellulose, efforts should be made to develop high-efficiency low-cost enzyme preparations co fermentation strains, improve the process reduce the costWe should innovate the mode of raw material collection, reduce the cost of raw material, develop high value-added by-products.

In addition, the state also needs to increase support for the production of cellulose ethanol from straw other raw materials.

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