Bioethanol from Waste Biomass: INEOS Bio

10450151_680657768650710_5470902751896477621_nINEOS Bio has its headquarter in Rolle, Switzerland. It attempts combination of gasification and fermentation processes to produce bioethanol from lignocellulosic waste.


The organic part of municipal solid waste,  industrial wastes and other lignocellulosic waste including bark, saw dust, wood chips, agricultural residues and energy crops are suitable for INEOS bio ethanol production technology.

INEOS Bio Ethanol Production Technology

It involves the following steps

Feed reception and drying As per the waste type appropriate thermal, mechanical or biological treatments are performed.  This is followed by drying of the feedstock which is generally achieved through using heat generated in the gasification step.

Gasification It is a two-step process to convert the biomass waste into a synthesis gas composed of carbon monoxide (CO), hydrogen (H2) and small volume of carbon dioxide (CO2). In the first step the dried biomass is exposed to the heat in the lower chamber of the gasifier which dries it further. It is followed by pyrolysis which converts biomass into pyrolysis gas. The pyrolysis gas passes through to the upper chamber where at high temperature and in the presence of limited supply of oxygen its partial combustion is attempted. The procedure generates more heat resulting in the cracking of pyrolysis gases into carbon monoxide, hydrogen and carbon dioxide. Gasification under reducing environment and with insufficient oxygen supply suppresses the formation of dioxins and furans. The minerals and other inert materials present in the feedstock are extracted from the gasifier in the form of ash.

Purification Hot syngas is cooled and the heat is recovered. Gas is passed through a dry scrubber and then a water quench to make it clean and dry. It is compressed before it is passed through the fermenter.

Fermentation The INEOS BIO’s patented naturally occurring anaerobic bacteria act as a biocatalyst in fermentation and convert carbon monoxide and hydrogen gases to ethanol at low temperatures and pressures. Being anaerobic the bacteria die when exposed to oxygen. Combustion of unconverted syngas produces additional renewable power which is used to meet the energy requirements of the process.

Filtration, distillation and dehydration After the extraction of the liquid from the fermentation tank its bacteria and nutrients are removed by filtration. It is followed by distillation and purification of the liquid by molecular sieve to anhydrous bioethanol. After blending it is ready to be used in cars and other vehicles.

The yield of thisprocess is 75–100  gallons per dry US ton of biomass.

Indian River BioEnergy Center near Vero Beach, Florida

It is a joint venture of INEOS Bio and NPE Florida with total project investment of approximately $130 million. The production capacity of the manufacturing plant is eight million US gallons.


You may like to know about different technologies to produce cellulosic ethanol, click Second Generation Biofuels

Want to know about other cellulosic ethanol producers

from municipal solid waste             from corn residue
from lignocellulosic biomass

Want to know about Algae biofuel

Algae Biofuels click
Sapphire Energy
Blue petroleum from microalgae
Ethanol Production from Algae 

First Generation Biofuels
Second Generation Biofuels
Third Generation Biofuels
Fourth Generation Biofuels

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