November 16 (SeeNews) - French group Global Bioenergies (EPA:ALGBE) has completed the construction of its Leuna demo plant in eastern Germany that converts renewable resources into high-purity isobutene for use in a number of industries, including the fuel sector.
The plant will be switched on over the coming weeks after it secures a certificate from German authority TUeV, Rick Bockrath, Global Bioenergies’ vice president for chemical engineering, said in a statement on Monday.
Located in the facility owned by the Fraunhofer CBP on the Leuna refinery platform, the demo plant is the only one in the world dedicated to the direct fermentation of gaseous hydrocarbons, Global Bioenergies says. With a nameplate annual production capacity of 100 tonnes, it can use resources such as industrial-grade sugar from beets and cane, glucose syrup from cereals, second generation sugars extracted from wheat straw, bagasse and wood chips, among other.
The produced isobutene can be used in the fuel sector to manufacture isooctane, ETBE and MTBE which are valuable compounds used in gasoline mixes, the company explained. Also, it can be converted into isododecane, a compound found in jet fuel.
The project received roughly EUR 10 million (USD 10.7m) in financing from the German federal ministry for research (BMBF) and a consortium of French banks.
(EUR 1.0 = USD 1.070)