BioGasol project receives Danish funding

By Ryan C. Christiansen | February 04, 2009
Web exclusive posted Feb. 19, 2009, at 4:03 p.m. CST

Denmark-based BioGasol ApS, has received €10.4 million ($13.4 million) from the Danish Energy Agency's Energy Technology Development and Demonstration Program to help finance building its 5 million liter (1.3 MMgy) BornBioFuel cellulosic ethanol demonstration-scale facility in Aakirkeby on the island of Bornholm, Denmark.

BioGasol received €3.6 million ($4.6 million) from the agency in December 2007 for the €35 million ($45 million) project.

"We are very happy with this grant," said Birgitte Ahring, chief executive officer at BioGasol. "The current financial crisis makes it even more difficult to find financing for demonstration plant activities, but this significant grant has increased BioGasol's opportunities of entering into partnerships with industrial partners or financial investors."

In the U.S., BioGasol is collaborating with Pacific Ethanol Inc. to build a 2.7 MMgy cellulosic ethanol demonstration-scale plant colocated with Pacific Ethanol's 35 MMgy corn-based ethanol facility in Boardman, Ore. The Joint BioEnergy Institute is also a partner in the project, which received $24 million from the U.S. DOE in January 2008.. The demonstration plant is expected to be completed during the fourth quarter of 2009.

According to BioGasol, its biorefinery technology can be used to convert various biomass feedstocks—including wood chips, crop residues, and energy crops—into solid fuel pellets, hydrogen, carbon dioxide, ethanol, and biogas.

The process includes washing and chopping biomass, followed by a pretreatment process that uses steam explosion and wet oxidation to prepare the biomass for hydrolysis. Enzymes are then used to hydrolyze the exploded fibers into glucose and xylose so that yeast can convert the glucose into ethanol.

A centrifuge is then used to separate the solids from the ethanol and the xylose. The solids are pelletized for fuel. Bacteria are then used to ferment the xylose into ethanol and to produce hydrogen. The ethanol, water, and salts mixture is then distilled to separate the ethanol, which is also passed through membranes to remove the water and salts.

In the next stage, the wastewater is processed using anaerobic digestion to produce biogas. Membranes are used to filter the salts from the water; the salts can be used as fertilizer. During subsequent pretreatment, the purified water is recycled.

For more information on BioGasol and its projects, read the following articles: