Beta Renewables is Tortona, Italy based second generation ethanol producer company. It was established in 2011 as a joint venture between Biochemtex a Mossi Ghisolfi Group engineering company and the Texas Pacific Group (TPG). At the end of 2012 Novozymes became a shareholder of Beta Renewables. Beta Renewables owns the ProesaTM technology applied for the conversion of cellulosic biomass to bioethanol and many other chemical intermediates.
Proesa™ technology can use variety of agricultural wastes such as rice straw, corn cob, sugarcane bagasse as well as dedicated energy crops such as Arundo Donax known as giant reed as feedstock for bioethanol production.
Beta Renewables Proesa™ Technology
Beta renewables uses its proprietary Proesa™ technology to convert sugars present in lignocellulosic biomass into fuels and other chemicals. In the first phase of the process the biomass is subjected to high temperatures and pressures to separate the cellulose and hemicellulose from the lignin. Subsequently, the polysaccharides are treated with enzymes to release the simple sugars which in turn are fermented by yeast into ethanol. The lignin and the biogas derived from the processes are recovered and used in the boiler to generate power and heat.
It is the world’s first plant that started production of bioethanol from agricultural residues and energy crops at commercial scale using enzymatic conversion. The plant has the capacity to produce 75 million liters cellulosic ethanol a year. It uses wheat straw, rice straw and arundo donax, a high-yielding energy crop as feedstock. To meet the energy need of the facility extracted lignin is used at an attached power plant to generate power.
The projects deploying Proesa™ technology of Beta Renewables
Biochemtex’s 20 million gallon per year production capacity plant is under construction in Clinton, North Carolina, USA. The plant will use ProesaTM technology to convert energy grasses into bioethanol and is expected to start production in 2016. Biochemtex has received a conditional loan guarantee for 99 million dollars from the U.S. Department of Agriculture In 2012 to build this integrated bio-refinery.
With 82 million liters of ethanol per year production capacity this plant is among the world’s biggest cellulosic ethanol production plants. Built by GranBio it became operational in September 2014 in São Miguel dos Campos, Alagoas, Brazil. The plant uses sugarcane straw as feedstock.
M&G Chemicals plan to build 200ktons/year cellulosic ethanol production capacity biorefinery in the Fuyang region of China. The Chinese firm Guozhen will supply 1M tons of wheat straw and corn stover annually to the plant. In terms of the amount of feedstock processed, the biorefinery is going to be roughly four times that of Crescentino facility of Beta Renewable in Italy. The plant will start production in 2016.
Canergy, a California based advanced biofuel company is deploying ProesaTM technology for developing a 25 million gallon a year biofuel facility in the Imperial Valley of California. The facility is expected to be operational in 2016 and will use non-food energy crops as feedstock.