Service providers partner to build ethanol plants in India

By Lisa Gibson | June 27, 2017

L&T Hydrocarbon Engineering in Mumbai is partnering with the Institute of Chemical Technology Mumbai to build second-generation ethanol plants across India. ICT will provide its multi-feedstock technology and LTHE will provide engineering and construction services. As per the agreement, ICT will partner with LTHE for the first five plants, and consider LTHE the preferred partner for any subsequent plants, according to Vinod Shar, vice president and head of engineering services for LTHE.

India is producing about 3 percent ethanol blends with molasses. The government is pushing for second-generation feedstocks to meet the 20 percent blend target the country has in place, according to LTHE.

ICT’s patented process uses fractionation, enzymatic and fermentation processes to convert biomass to fuel-grade ethanol with zero liquid discharge, Shar said. The process is suitable for a variety of feedstocks, including rice stalk, corn cobs, cotton stalk, bagasse, pigeon pea stalk, banana stalk, wood chips, elephant grass, wheat straw, soya stalk, sugar cane trash, bamboo and maize stalk.

India’s first bioenergy center was established by ICT in 2008 to develop and scale up ethanol technologies for India, Shar said.