Energy / Climate Change

March 28, 2007


Commercial-Scale Wood-Based Ethanol Production Begins

Keywords: Government Manufacturing industry Renewable Energy 

The world's first commercial production of cellulosic bioethanol began on January 16, 2007, at a plant run by BioEthaol Japan Kansai Co., a company established for the mass production of ethanol from waste wood biomass. Raw materials include construction wood scraps, sawdust, pruned twigs and other cellulose waste. The company's background and an outline of the production process can be seen at the following link:

The plant is located on the site of Osaka EcoTown, in Sakai, Osaka Prefecture, and has an annual production capacity of 1,400 kiloliters of ethanol fuel from 48,000 tons of construction wood scraps. The wood scraps are crushed into chips by machines capable of processing 180 tons a day, before being used as ethanol feedstock or fuel for the plant's power generator (1900 kW). Wood residues from the chemical decomposition process are molded into lignin pellets, which feed the plant's boilers or are shipped as biomass fuel.

The Ministry of the Environment regards this facility as a foundation for domestic bioethanol production, and plans to use the produced ethanol in a scheme to demonstrate the large-scale supply of E3 (gasoline containing 3% ethanol) in large cities. This is part of the Ministry's strategy to accelerate the use of bioethanol, a policy priority for 2007. When used in E3, 1,400 kiloliters of ethanol could yield about 47,000 kiloliters of E3 automobile fuel.

The company plans to increase annual production to 4,000 kiloliters over the next few years, by installing additional equipment and introducing new technologies.

- Bioethanol Mass Production from Waste Wood to Start in Osaka in 2007 (Related JFS article)

Posted: 2007/03/28 02:56:08 PM
Japanese version