Sumitomo embarks on biomass-to-bioethanol partnership in California

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Sumitomo Corporation  has signed an agreement with Axens North America, a bioethanol technology provider, and Allotrope Partners, a US clean energy advisory and investment firm, for a joint project to study the commercial production of bioethanol derived from woody biomass in California state.
According to Sumitomo, bioethanol is currently gaining a reputation on a global scale as a renewable energy resource. For countries aiming for carbon neutrality, it can work as a feedstock for biofuels such as Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) and bio-chemicals.
Cellulosic bioethanol made from woody biomass is low in carbon intensity when compared to ethanol produced from different feedstocks and has the potential to scale sustainably, added the corporation.
The objective of the project is to produce bioethanol directly from woody biomass.
The feedstock is anticipated to be locally-sourced forest thinning materials and agricultural residues found in California, with the intent to produce about 60,000 tons of bioethanol annually.
The ethanol produced at the plant will be used primarily for the production of SAF and bio-chemicals, both of which continue to grow in demand.
As an additional benefit, the feedstock of this project will utilise material from forest thinning activities to reduce the serious risk of forest fires, said Sumitomo.
The company is also planning to study the possibility of carbon dioxide capture and utilisation (CCU) using carbon-neutral CO2 generated collaterally during bioethanol production as well as effective utilisation of residues from the fermentation process to produce biogas.

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