Mitsubishi Chemical in Strategic Partnerships for Marketing Zeolite Membranes for Bioethanol Production

With the United States and Brazil leading the global market, the use of bioethanol derived from biomass feedstocks such as corn, sugar cane and cassava has been wide-spreading due to its carbon neutrality and potential to reduce greenhouse gas emission. Further, what has been called the ‘second-generation bioethanol,’ bioethanol from non-edible feedstocks is evolving in the United States and India.

Bioethanol is required to be dehydrated to a certain extent for use as fuel. With the continuously growing market globally, bioethanol producers will significantly take advantage of ZEBREX (TM). ZEBREX (TM) being a state-of-art, continuous dehydration technology of zeolite membranes, bioethanol producers will save 20% to 30% of energy consumption compared with a traditional batch PSA process (*), which requires periodical regenerations. ZEBREX (TM), through either replacement of the PSA process or integration to an existing bioethanol plant, allows bioethanol producers to reduce carbon footprints and operation costs while increasing production through improvement in efficiency and operational stability.

Known for its engineering expertise in the fuel ethanol market, ICM”s technology is used in more than half of ethanol plants in the United States, where the largest bioethanol production is taking place. The combination of MCC”s ZEBREX (TM) dehydration technology and ICM”s process integration ability will speed the penetration of ZEBREX (TM) into the North American market.

Mitsui has a strong marketing and business network with bioethanol producers in Asia-Pacific and Europe. Its strength is not limited to bioethanol but also lies in the sugar and food markets. MCC will promote ZEBREX (TM) with Mitsui to bioethanol producers who can take advantage of the technology. As a result of this partnership, one of the largest bioethanol producers in Europe, Pannonia Ethanol Zrt based in Hungary, has committed to install the world”s largest ZEBREX (TM) system. Pannonia also employs ICM technology: this ZEBREX (TM) integration will be one of the best showcases to represent successful partnerships revolving around ZEBREX (TM) in the global perspective.

MCC contributes to continuous promotion of efficient energy production and use by expanding its zeolite membrane business that these partnerships will accelerate.

(*) PSA (pressure swing adsorption) is a technology with traditional type A zeolite pellets. Due to inefficiency of the PSA dehydration process, ethanol/water 50% mixture requires to be regenerated in the distillation column, which results in an energy-intensive process.

About ICM, Inc.

Established in 1995 and headquartered in Colwich, Kansas, ICM, with a regional office in Brazil, provides innovative technologies, solutions and services to sustain agriculture and to advance renewable energy, including ethanol and feed technologies that will increase the supply of world protein. By providing proprietary process technologies to over 100 facilities globally with a combined production capacity of approximately 8.8 billion gallons of annual ethanol production and 25 million tons of annual distillers grains, ICM has become a world leader in bio-refining technologies.

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TOKYO, Feb. 28, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation (‘MCC’) hereby announces strategic partnerships for marketing its zeolite membranes, ZEBREX (TM), for bioethanol production. The strategic partnerships consist of ICM, Inc. (‘ICM’) for North America and Mitsui & Co., Ltd. (‘Mitsui’) for Asia-Pacific and Europe. The partnerships will accelerate MCC”s business development in the bioethanol market further on a global scale.

Mitsubishi Chemical in Strategic Partnerships for Marketing Zeolite Membranes for Bioethanol Production