CropEnergies and Johnson Matthey in Renewable Ethyl Acetate Project

13.01.2022 - German ethanol producer CropEnergies has entered into an agreement with Johnson Matthey covering technology license, engineering and technical services for a 50,000 t/y renewable ethyl acetate plant. CropEnergies said the project, which would cost between €80 million and €100 million, would also lay the first foundation stone of Biobased Chemicals as a new business line.

The plant, to be located near CropEnergies’ site in Zeitz, will be based on bioethanol and renewable energy, reducing the carbon footprint of the ethyl acetate, which is used in various applications in food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, paints and coatings and cosmetics, among others.

“In addition to lowering our customers’ fossil carbon footprint, renewable ethyl acetate produced near Zeitz would also offer customers the opportunity to source locally in Europe, providing greater security of supply,” said CropEnergies CEO Stephan Meeder.

The facility will also generate renewable hydrogen as a co-product that, together with biogenic CO2 from CropEnergies’ fermentation process, will be the basis for further conversion of renewable energy into power-to-X downstream routes to produce fuels, for example. Power-to-X is a catch-all term for various processes that convert electricity into heat, hydrogen or synthetic fuels as an alternative to fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and natural gas.

Johnson Matthey will prepare the process design package, which is targeted for completion in the middle of 2022, after which CropEnergies will make the final investment decision.

Author: Elaine Burridge, Freelance Journalist